Digestive Disease Week
Digestive Disease Week
June 07, 2018
2 min watch

Plasma assay of methylated DNA markers detects liver cancer

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WASHINGTON — In this exclusive video perspective from Digestive Disease Week 2018, John B. Kisiel, MD, a gastroenterologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., shares results of a study in which plasma assay of methylated DNA markers detected hepatocellular carcinoma across all stages.

“These are markers we discovered as part of a larger set in an experiment that sequenced DNA extracted from frozen tissue specimens from patients at Mayo Clinic,” Kisiel told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “The aim of the present study was to validate these markers in a larger cohort that included a spectrum of stages of disease, including early-stage patients who would be potentially curable.”

The case-controlled study included 98 patients with HCC, 51 control patients with cirrhosis, and nearly 100 healthy controls.

The researchers assessed the patients with a six-marker panel that achieved an area under the curve of 0.96 for the detection of hepatoma. The panel had a 93% sensitivity for patients who fall within the Milan criteria. According to Kisiel, this indicated the patients “could have been potentially cured by a liver transplantation.”

“These findings provide an important motivation for us to validate these markers in an even larger study, potentially aimed long-term at bringing this to the bedside to care for our patients,” Kisiel said.


Kisiel JB, et al. Abstract 1044. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; June 2-5, 2018; Washington, D.C.

Disclosure: Kisiel reports royalties or patents with Exact Sciences. Please see the DDW faculty disclosure index for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.