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Genetic variant that triggers liver cancer in hepatitis C virus carriers found

Posted On: July 16, 2011

London, July 4 (ANI): A recent study has identified a genetic variant associated with the development of liver cancer in chronic hepatitis C virus carriers.

Researchers conducted the genome-wide study on 3,312 Japanese individuals, uncovering one SNP associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk, located on a gene called DEPDC5.

HCC is the most common type of liver cancer, the third leading cancer-related cause of death and the seventh most common form of cancer worldwide.

The researchers attempted to identify the risk factors connecting hepatitis C virus (HVC) and HCC.

HVC is the main risk factor for HCC in many western countries and in Japan, where of the more than 30,000 deaths each year from HCC, 70 pc involve HVC.

The study analyzed a total of 467,538 genetic markers (called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs) in a group of 212 HCV carriers with HCC and 765 HCV carriers without HCC.

The SNP association with HCC risk was confirmed in an independent replication study on a population of 2335 HVC carriers, 710 with HCC and 1625 without HCC.

The researchers adjusted their results for gender, age and platelet count, revealing that among Japanese individuals with chronic HVC infection, the DEPDC5 SNP roughly doubles the odds of developing HCC.

The study appears in the journal Nature Genetics. (ANI)

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