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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


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Measurement of Cyclin D2 (CCND2) Gene Promoter Methylation in Plasma and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells and Alpha-Fetoprotein Levels in Patients with Hepatitis B Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Yu Qian, Jing-Wen Wang, Yu Fang, Xiao-Dong Yuan, Yu-Chen Fan, Shuai Gao, Kai Wang

(Department of Hepatology, Qilu Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e927444

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.927444

BACKGROUND: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is widely used to screen for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the use of this biomarker has been challenged due to its low sensitivity and high rate of false negatives. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic capability of cyclin D2 (CCND2) promoter methylation in patients with HCC related to hepatitis B virus (HBV).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Using methylation-specific PCR and quantitative real-time PCR, we measured methylation status and mRNA levels of CCND2 in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 275 subjects: 75 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 47 with liver cirrhosis (LC), 118 with HCC, and 35 healthy controls (HCs).
RESULTS: The methylation rate of the CCND2 promoter was significantly higher in HCC patients than in patients without HCC (P<0.001). Furthermore, advanced HCC (TNM III/IV) was associated with a significantly higher frequency of CCND2 methylation and lower CCND2 mRNA levels than early-stage disease (TNM I/II; P<0.05). Combined measurement of CCND2 methylation and AFP yielded significantly higher sensitivity and area under the curve (AUC) than AFP alone in distinguishing patients with HCC from subjects with LC and CHB (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: CCND2 methylation may be useful for predicting HCC progression. In addition, combined measurement of CCND2 methylation and AFP could serve as a non-invasive diagnostic marker for patients with HBV-related HCC.

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