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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2002 Mar;34(3):263-7.

Hepatic Fas protein expression might be a predictive factor for hepatocellular carcinoma development in patients with chronic hepatitis C undergoing interferon therapy.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Chukyo Hospital, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan.



Several studies have revealed that interferon treatment may reduce the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, even after eradication of HCV, patients remain at risk for developing HCC.


Of 153 consecutive HCV patients who were treated with interferon and followed up for 5 years, 17 (11.1%) developed HCC. To elucidate predictive factors of HCC development, multivariate analysis was done for the 153 patients, and Fas protein expression in the biopsied specimens of liver before interferon treatment was examined in 17 patients who developed HCC and 17 patients who did not.


Among the independent factors (sex, age, HCV genotype, HCV-RNA level, effect of interferon therapy, serum alanine aminotransferase before interferon therapy, and histologic stage and grade) tested by Cox proportional-hazards analysis, histologic stage (hepatic fibrosis) before interferon was significantly associated with HCC development (p = 0.01). In addition, the intensity of Fas protein expression was significantly greater in the liver specimens of the patients who developed HCC than in those who did not (p = 0.015).


Histologic stage (hepatic fibrosis) and Fas protein expression before interferon treatment might be indicative of the need for intensive follow-up in patients with chronic hepatitis C undergoing interferon therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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