The Research Roundup provides an overview of the past week’s research from Mayo Medical Laboratories consultants, including featured abstracts and complete list of published studies and reviews.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy both in the U.S. and worldwide. Despite the refinement of imaging techniques in at-risk populations, a needle biopsy diagnosis remains an important diagnostic tool for HCC in many cases. Various immunohistochemical markers have been developed to facilitate this diagnosis, such as HepPar-1, glypican-3 and, most recently, arginase-1. Among them, arginase-1 has been shown to have superior sensitivity and specificity than the others. Performance of arginase-1 has been reported to be excellent for diagnosis of well differentiated HCCs, with some tail- off in sensitivity for poorly differentiated tumors. Mayo Clinic researchers' experience has suggested that a subset of well-differentiated HCCs can be negative for arginase-1. They examined 68 consecutive confirmed cases of well-differentiated HCC diagnosed on needle biopsy and found 7 (10%) to be completely negative for arginase-1. This finding is of fundamental clinical importance in view of previous studies that have shown arginase-1 to be always positive in well-differentiated HCC. The review was published in Human Pathology.