Individualized assessment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk in chronic liver disease remains challenging. Serum biomarkers including cytokines may offer helpful adjuncts to standard parameters for risk prediction. Our aim was to identify markers associated with increased HCC incidence. This was a prospective cohort study of 282 patients with both viral or non-viral chronic liver disease. Baseline serum cytokines and other markers were measured in multiplex with a commercially-available Luminex-based system. Patients were followed until death or HCC diagnosis. We performed Lasso-based survival analysis to determine parameters associated with HCC development. Cytokine mean florescence intensity (MFI) was the primary predictor and HCC development the primary outcome. 25 patients developed HCC with total follow-up of 1,363 person-years. Parameters associated with increased HCC incidence were cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation, and soluble serum intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1) MFI. No other molecules increased predictive power for HCC incidence. On univariate analysis, the parameters associated with HCC incidence in patients with cirrhosis were age, antiviral treatment, and high sICAM-1 MFI; on multivariate analysis, sICAM-1 remained associated with HCC development (adjusted HR?=?2.75). On unbiased screening of serum cytokines and other markers in a diverse cohort, baseline sICAM-1 MFI is associated with HCC incidence.
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