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This biomarker is also known as:
  • lectin-bound AFP,
  • Lectin-bound alpha-fetoprotein,


AFP-L3, also known as lectin-bound AFP, is an isoform of AFP, a major plasma protein produced by the yolk sac and the liver during fetal life. Alpha-fetoprotein expression in adults is often associated with hepatoma or teratoma. The L3 isoform is specific to malignant tumors and its detected presence may serve to identify patients who could benefit from monitoring for the development of HCC in high risk populations (i.e. chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis).


QA State: Curated
Type: Protein
Short Name:


There are no datasets associated with this biomarker.


The following organs have data associated with this biomarker…



Phase: Three
QA State: Curated


Since 90% of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have underlying cirrhosis, patients with cirrhosis are candidates for HCC surveillance. Despite advances in medical technology, the 5-year survival of patients with HCC has improved minimally from 2% to 5% from 1981 to 1998. This may be largely due to diagnosis at late stage disease. These studies aim to compare the performance characteristics of the biomarkers AFP, DCP (des-gamma carboxyprothrombin) and AFP-L3 (lectin-bound AFP) in the early diagnosis of HCC.

Performance Comment

AFP-L3 has been approved by the FDA as a component of lab test to diagnose the risk of developing liver cancer in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). The test measures levels of both AFP-L3 and AFP in the blood, and calculates AFP-L3 levels as a percentage of total AFP. Higher levels of AFP-L3 are associated with higher risk of developing liver cancer. According to the FDA, if the percentage of AFP-L3 is greater or equal to 10%, the risk is seven-fold that the patient will develop liver cancer in the next 21 months.


This biomarker is currently being annotated or is under review. You must be logged in or do not have permission to view any additional information. Contact Heather Kincaid at if you should have access to this biomarker.


No associated Biomuta entries found.

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