Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
IL28B polymorphisms were shown to be associated with a response to peg-interferon-based treatment in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and spontaneous clearance. However, little is known about how this polymorphism affects the course of CHC, including the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We evaluated the influence of IL28B polymorphisms on hepatocarcinogenesis in CHC patients.
We genotyped the rs8099917 single-nucleotide polymorphism in 351 hepatitis C-associated HCC patients without history of IFN-based treatment, and correlated the age at onset of HCC in patients with each genotype.
Frequencies of TT, TG, and GG genotypes were 74.3 % (261/351), 24.8 % (87/351), and 0.9 % (3/351), respectively. The mean ages at onset of HCC for TT, TG, and GG genotypes were 69.9, 67.5 and 66.8, respectively. In multivariate analysis, IL28B minor allele (TG and GG genotypes) was an independent risk factor for younger age at onset of HCC (P = 0.02) in males (P < 0.001) with higher body mass index (BMI; P = 0.009). The IL28B minor allele was also associated with a lower probability of having aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) >1.5 (minor vs. major, 46.7 vs. 58.6 %; P = 0.01), lower AST (69.1 vs. 77.7 IU/L, P = 0.02), lower ALT (67.8 vs. 80.9 IU/L, P = 0.002), higher platelet count (12.8 vs. 11.2 × 104/μL, P = 0.002), and higher prothrombin time (79.3 vs. 75.4 %, P = 0.002).
The IL28B minor allele was associated with lower inflammatory activity and less progressed fibrosis of the liver; however, it constituted a risk factor for younger-age onset of HCC in CHC patients.