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PIVKA-II: Confidence in HCC surveillance and diagnosis: Prof. Ming-Lung Yu

Find out more about PIVKA-II in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) detection, or download our HCC Detection (HD) expert pack by filling in the form below:

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  • Highlights and a PDF copy of the latest APAC regional consensus for PIVKA-II and AFP in HCC
  • APASL 2023 Congress Report
  • Updates on future studies and patient cases

Hello everyone, I am Dr. Ming-Lung Yu. Currently I am a physician and Chair Professor of Hepatology at the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital and Senior Vice President of National Sun Yat-sen University.


What is the unmet need in HCC surveillance and diagnosis?

There are about 11,000 new liver cancer patients in Taiwan every year. Unfortunately, 60% of liver cancers are advanced stage at the time of first diagnosis, and usually, the effect of treatment is not satisfactory. Patients with early-stage tumors, that can be removed surgically or by ablation, have the best chance of long-term survival. Therefore, early detections of liver cancers are crucial to increase patient outcome.


What is your current HCC surveillance practice and how is PIVKA-II implemented? 

Ultrasound sonography is the most important and reliable screening tool, but its sensitivity will be affected by the size and location of nodules, operation technique, fatty liver, etc. Therefore, it needs serum biomarkers as an assistant tool. AFP has been used commonly in liver cancer diagnosis now. And PIVKA-II has been used more and more in daily practice recently since it became the reimbursed item.


Why was PIVKA-II implemented in your clinical practice?

There is cumulating evidence supporting the application of PIVKA-II for HCC diagnosis. And PIVKA-II combined with AFP and ultrasound sonography can improve the sensitivity of HCC surveillance, especially in early stage of HCC.


What is your clinical experience using PIVKA-II and how effective is it in your clinical practice in HCC surveillance and diagnosis? 

We observed that PIVKA-II has good sensitivity & specificity in HCC patients, and it could be better when combined with AFP & ultrasound sonography.

For BCLC stage 0/A patients, we found PIVKA-II has the best sensitivity, compared to those of ultrasound sonography and AFP.

For example, some HCC patients have no liver nodules in ultrasound sonography and with normal AFP, but have increased levels of PIVKA-II and are further confirmed by CT/MRI. Obviously, PIVKA-II is very helpful for these patient population.


How has PIVKA-II aided in your clinical decision making?

PIVKA-II can help us to have one more useful tool for improving the early diagnosis of liver cancers.

Find out more about PIVKA-II in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) detection, or sign up to download our HCC Detection (HD) expert pack.

The views and opinions expressed by Prof. Ming-Lung Yu are his own views and opinions. Roche disclaims all liability in relation to these views and opinions. This content is targeted at healthcare professionals and could contain information otherwise not accessible, approved or valid in your country. Please be aware that we do not take any responsibility for you accessing information which may not comply with any legal process, regulation, registration or usage in the country of your origin.This content is for general information purposes only. We disclaim all liability and are not responsible for any third party content on our website or which our website links to.

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