Des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin in hepatocellular cancer patients waiting for liver transplant: a systematic review and meta-analysis



The use of des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) as a predictor of the risk of recurrence of hepatocellular cancer (HCC) after liver transplant (LT) has recently gained interest, especially in view of the recent extension of the eligibility criteria of these patients for LT. The aim of the present study is to look into this important matter based on a systematic review and meta-analysis.


A systematic literature review about the role of DCP in the specific setting of LT for HCC has been conducted.


Three selected studies, which showed a high rate of homogeneity (I2 = 0.0%), confirmed that the tumor marker DCP is a useful predictive factor, indicating a 5-fold increased risk for HCC recurrence after LT (p<0.001).


The meta-analysis enabled us to underline the importance of DCP in the refinement of the eligibility criteria of HCC patients for LT. This information, based on Japanese studies performed in the setting of living-donor LT only, needs further validation in the Western world both in the setting of post-mortem and living-donor LT.

Int J Biol Markers 2017; 32(4): e370 - e374

Article Type: REVIEW



Quirino Lai, Samuele Iesari, Giovanni Battista Levi Sandri, Jan Lerut

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare in relation to the content of the paper.

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  •  Starzl Abdominal Transplant Unit, University Hospitals Saint Luc, Université Catholique Louvain, Brussels - Belgium
  •  Transplant Unit, Department of Surgery, La Sapienza University, Rome - Italy

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