AIM: To evaluate vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tryptase in hepatocellular cancer (HCC) before and after trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE). METHODS: VEGF and tryptase serum concentrations were assessed from 71 unresectable HCC patients before and after hepatic TACE performed by binding DC-Beads® to doxorubicin. VEGF levels were examined for each serum sample using the Quantikine Human VEGF-enzyme-linked immuno-absorbent assay (ELISA), whereas tryptase serum concentrations were assessed for each serum sample by means of fluoro-enzyme immunoassay (FEIA) using the Uni-CAP100 tool. Differences between serum VEGF and tryptase values before and after TACE were evaluated using Student t test. Person's correlation was used to assess the degree of association between the two variables. RESULTS: VEGF levels and serum tryptase in HCC patients before TACE had a mean value and standard deviation (SD) of 114.31 ± 79.58 pg/mL and 8.13 ± 3.61 ìg/L, respectively. The mean levels and SD of VEGF levels and serum tryptase in HCC patients after TACE were 238.14 ± 109.41 pg/mL and 4.02 ± 3.03 ìg/L. The changes between the mean values of concentration of VEGF and tryptase before treatment and after treatment was statistically significant (P <0.000231 and P <0.00124, by Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney respectively). A significant correlation between VEGF levels before and after TACE and between tryptase levels before and after TACE was demonstrated (r = 0.68, P = 0.003; r = 0.84, P = 0.000 respectively). CONCLUSION: Our pilot results suggest that the higher serum VEGF levels and the lower tryptase levels following TACE may be potential biomarkers changing in response to therapy.
- Hepatocellular cancer
- Serum levels
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
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