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J Egypt Natl Canc Inst. 2005 Dec;17(4):270-8.

A panel of molecular markers in hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1The Department of Cancer Biology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University.



Hepatocellular carcinoma is triggered by many factors including infection with hepatitis C virus. The molecular basis, however, of the development of HCV-related HCC remains unknown.


This work was designated to compare the circulating levels of some molecular markers between HCV-infected and HCV-free HCC patients.


We investigated 77 of HCC patients admitted to the National Cancer Institute, Cairo during the period 2002-2003. The plasma circulating levels of bcl-2, transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and beta2-microglobulin (beta2- MG) were investigated in HCV related HCC patients (n=40) compared to both HCV-free HCC patients (n=37) and a group of healthy subjects (n=20). Additionally, the LOH at the mannose 6-phosphate/insulin like growth factor-II receptor (M6P/IGFIIr) was investigated.


The result did not predict a significant role of HCV infection on the circulating bcl-2 protein. In both HCC and HCC/HCV groups a limited number of patients had high levels of bcl-2. TGF-beta1 level increased particularly, but insignificantly in HCC associated with HCV infection. A similar pattern was obtained in the levels of beta2-MG, however the difference between HCC and HCC/HCV patients was significant (p=0.001). The infection with HCV was associated with a high incidence of LOH at M6P/IGFIIr site compared to HCV-free patients. Although the level of serum VEGF was significantly higher in all HCC patients than in healthy control, no significant difference, however was observed between HCV infected and HCV-free groups.


In HCC patients, HCV infection did not exclusively affect the levels of both bcl-2 and VEGF. TGF-beta1, beta2-MG and the LOH at M6P/IGFIIr, however were higher in presence of HCV infection.

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