Tight association of hepatocellular carcinoma with HBV infection in North China.Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int 2005; 4(1):46-9HP
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cancer in China. Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) and aflatoxins are known risk factors for HCC, but the etiological status of these factors in HCC development is not clear. This study was undertaken to define the absolute importance of HBV in hepatocarcinogenesis of North China.
A consecutive series of 119 patients with pathologically proven HCC were collected from North China during January 1998 to December 2000 by the Cancer Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing. Serum HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HCV were negative HBV sero-markers. The HBV X gene was analyzed for its expression by PCR, DNA sequencing, and immunohistochemistry.
In the 119 HCC patients, 82.4% (98/119) were HBsAg seropositive. When a comprehensive set of HBV markers were detected, the HBV infection rate in these HCC patients was 99.2% (118/119). Of the patients, 11.8%(14/119) were found to be anti-HCV positive. But all the anti-HCV positive HCC patients were co-infected with HBV.
HBV infection is virtually ubiquitous in HCC patients in North China. The tight association of HBV with HCC strongly suggests the dominant role of HBV infection in causing hepatocellular carcinoma. About 11.8% of HCC patients being HCV-related are co-infected with HBV.