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Reuters Health Information (2009-07-02): Hepatitis B virus mutations predict risk of hepatocellular carcinoma


Hepatitis B virus mutations predict risk of hepatocellular carcinoma

Last Updated: 2009-07-02 16:33:49 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Specific hepatitis B virus (HBV) mutations are associated with development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and may help predict infected patients' risk for these tumors, according to a report published online July 2nd in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Guangwen Cao and colleagues at Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, China conducted a meta-analysis of 43 studies involving 11,582 patients infected with HBV, including 2801 who had HCC. Using data from these papers, the researchers looked for associations between HCC and mutations in the Pre-S, enhancer II, basal core promoter, and precore regions of HBV.

The researchers report that the following were associated with an increased risk of HCC: any mutation in the HBV PreS region, C1653T (a C-to-T substitution in the enhancer II region), T1753V (a T-to-V substitution in the basal core promoter), and the double mutant A1762T/G1764A (A-to-G and G-to-A substitutions in the basal core promoter region).

The summary odds ratios of HCC associated with these polymorphisms were 3.77 for PreS mutations, 2.76 for C1653T, 2.35 for T1753V, and 3.79 for A1762T/G1764A.

These mutations "were increasingly more prevalent as chronic HBV infection progressed from the asymptomatic hepatitis B surface antigen carrier state to liver cirrhosis or HCC," comment the editors of the journal.

In the future, the authors suggest, these mutations, "alone or in combination, could be used as potential markers to identify HBV-infected patients who should receive antiviral treatment."

J Natl Cancer Inst 2009.

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