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Ultrasound, blood test may boost liver cancer detection

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Combining with a blood test can improve detection of early-stage by as much as 40 per cent, scientists including one of Indian origin have found.

Earlier detection is important to improving survival of patients with cancer, researchers said.

"If the is found early, then we can perform curative therapies, allowing patients to live many years," said G Amit Singal, at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the US.

Risk factors for cancer, also known as or HCC, include hepatitis C infection, chronic heavy alcohol consumption, and nonalcoholic related to and

Symptoms can include or swelling, loss of weight or appetite, white chalky stools, and general

screening guidelines for patients with vary, with some guidelines calling for just and other guidelines calling for both and high fetoprotein (AFP) measurement.

"screening in patients with chronic liver disease has traditionally been performed using an abdominal While is readily available and noninvasive, it misses many when they are small," said Singal.

"Our study found that adding the blood biomarker fetoprotein increased detection of early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma from 45 percent with ultrasound alone to 63 per cent using the two tests in combination," he said.

AFP is a plasma protein that is produced in abundance by the liver cells in the fetus. In adults, AFP levels are normally low, can cause AFP levels to rise.

"Our results highlight the importance of continued development and validation of blood-based biomarkers for liver cancer early detection," said Singal.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 17:25 IST