“In Europe, about one person in a thousand is suffering from liver cirrhosis, a serious and irreversible damage, which typically results from diseases such as hepatitis B or C or chronic alcoholism, “the specialist Xavier Verhelst (UZ Gent).

Liver Cirrhosis also leads in one in three hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a malignant tumor of the liver of the three cancer killer in Europe. “If the tumor is discovered and can be removed, the chances of survival after five years amounted to 30-50%. Patients at a more advanced stage have a life expectancy of an average of three to twenty months. In order to detect cancer as early as possible, patients with cirrhosis undergoing liver ultrasound every six months. ”

The researchers found that the GlycoCirrhoTest (TAG), a blood test to diagnose cirrhosis is also a biomarker to estimate the risk of HCC. This test was developed in 2004 by Professors Nico Callewaert (VIB / Ghent University) and Hans Van Vlierberghe (UZ Gent / Ghent University).

It was applied to blood samples of 132 patients bearers of cirrhosis, who were followed medically for four years. “In patients who have developed liver tumor during those four years, the test showed significantly higher values. This means that this test can be used to assess the risk of developing such a cancer.”