Even though the combined use of ultrasound (US) and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is recommended for the surveillance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the utilization of AFP has its challenges, including accuracy dependent on its cut-off levels, degree of liver necroinflammation, and etiology of liver disease. Though various studies have demonstrated the utility of protein induced by vitamin K absence II (PIVKA-II) in surveillance, treatment monitoring, and predicting recurrence, it is still not recommended as a routine biomarker test. A panel of 17 experts from Asia-Pacific, gathered to discuss and reach a consensus on the clinical usefulness and value of PIVKA-II for the surveillance and treatment monitoring of HCC, based on six predetermined statements. The experts agreed that PIVKA-II was valuable in the detection of HCC in AFP-negative patients, and could potentially benefit detection of early HCC in combination with AFP. PIVKA-II is clinically useful for monitoring curative and intra-arterial locoregional treatments, outcomes, and recurrence, and could potentially predict microvascular invasion risk and facilitate patient selection for liver transplant. However, combining PIVKA-II with US and AFP for HCC surveillance, including small HCC, still requires more evidence, whilst its role in detecting AFP-negative HCC will potentially increase as more patients are treated for hepatitis-related HCC. PIVKA-II in combination with AFP and US has a clinical role in the Asia-Pacific region for surveillance. However, implementation of PIVKA-II in the region will have some challenges, such as requiring standardization of cut-off values, its cost-effectiveness and improving awareness among healthcare providers.
- Carcinoma, hepatocellular