J Cancer 2018; 9(1):189-197. doi:10.7150/jca.21799 This issue
1. Department of Medical Oncology and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Liver Disease, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, 600 Tianhe Road, Guangzhou, 510630, People's Republic of China;
2. Department of Medical Oncology of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, 651 Dongfengdong Road, Guangzhou, 510060, People's Republic of China;
3. Department of Intervention and Radiology, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Liver Disease, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, 600 Tianhe Road, Guangzhou, 510630, People's Republic of China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work
Background Albumin-to-Alkaline Phosphatase Ratio (ALB/ALP ratio, AAPR), a newly developed index of liver function, has been rarely discussed about its prognostic value in malignancies. The current study attempted to evaluate the prognostic prediction of AAPR in advanced HCC.
Methods 237 advanced HCC patients who refused any standard anti-cancer therapies were retrospectively analyzed. The threshold value of AAPR was determined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Univariate analyses using Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test, and multivariate analysis using Cox proportional hazards regression model were conducted. Comparisons of ROC curves and likelihood ratio test (LRT) were utilized to compare the value of different factors in predicting survival.
Results ROC curve analysis confirmed 0.38 as the optimal cutoff value of AAPR in evaluating overall survival (OS). Patients with an AAPR > 0.38 exhibited significantly lower frequencies of ascites, portal vein tumor thrombus, Child-Pugh grade B & C, and KPS < 70 (all P < 0.05). These patients also displayed a longer median survival time than those with an AAPR ≤ 0.38 (5.8 m vs 2.4 m, P < 0.01). Univariate and multivariate analyses identified AAPR as an independent prognostic indicator (HR = 0.592, P = 0.007). Furthermore, we integrated AAPR with TNM system and found that area under curve of AAPR-TNM system was significantly larger than that of TNM system when predicting 3-month survival (0.670 vs 0.611, P < 0.01). Moreover, LRT indicated that AAPR-TNM system had a significantly larger χ2 (26.4 vs 16.4, P < 0.01) and a significantly smaller Akaike information criterion value (1936 vs 1948, P < 0.01) comparing with TNM system.
Conclusions Our study implied that AAPR was a potentially valuable prognostic index for advanced HCC patients without receiving any standard anti-cancer therapies. AAPR-TNM system preceded TNM system in predicting overall survival in this study.
Keywords: advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, albumin-to-alkaline phosphatase ratio, prognosis, hepatic function reserve, biomarkers.