Determining consistent prognostic biomarkers of overall survival and vascular invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma

We evaluated biomarkers associated with vascular invasion to validate their predictive potential in two independent datasets

Otília Menyhárt; Ádám Nagy; Balázs Győrffy


Scholarcy highlights

  • Potential prognostic biomarker candidates for hepatocellular carcinoma are abundant, but their generalizability is unexplored
  • One critical component behind the high failure rate is poor reporting of key study elements hampering the interpretability and clinical applicability of prognostic studies. Another critical requirement would be the validation of the findings by independent investigators in independent datasets, as promising biomarkers should provide reproducible results when tested in external samples
  • The PubMed search for HCC prognostic biomarkers resulted in 533 hits, of which 513 were written in English, and seven papers were reviews
  • Evaluation of the remaining 506 papers resulted in 355 relevant articles describing differences between mRNA and/or protein expression and survival
  • Multiple references were available, decreasing the number of individual biomarkers to 318, from which overexpression of 194 genes was associated with poor overall survival
  • Low expression of SOCS2 while elevated expression of NAT10 was coupled with the poor OS
  • The low reproducibility of the published prognostic biomarkers uncovered in our analysis draws attention to the need for more rigorous research practices in this heterogeneous neoplastic disease with a highly variable aetiology
  • We provide a unified pipeline using already available transcriptomic datasets to enable the validation and ranking of future biomarker candidates

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