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Carcinogenesis. 1991 Dec;12(12):2247-52.

Aflatoxin B1-DNA adducts and hepatitis B virus antigens in hepatocellular carcinoma and non-tumorous liver tissue.

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  • 1Comprehensive Cancer Center, School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032.


Studies were carried out to test the hypothesis that exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is common among individuals with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who are also chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Experiments were also carried out to determine whether there is a close association between the presence of AFB1-DNA adducts and the expression of one or more HBV antigens in the tumor or non-tumor regions of the liver. Twenty-seven paired tumor and non-tumor liver tissues of HCC patients from Taiwan were analyzed. Monoclonal antibody 6A10, generated against the imidazole ring-opened persistent form of the major N-7 guanine adduct of AFB1, was used for adduct detection by both indirect immunofluorescence and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. An avidin-biotin complex staining method was used for the detection of HBsAg and HBxAg in liver sections. A total of 8 (30%) HCC samples and 7 (26%) adjacent non-tumor liver tissue samples from Taiwan were positive for AFB1-DNA adducts. For HBsAg, 10 (37%) HCC samples and 22 (81%) adjacent non-tumorous liver samples were positive while 9 (33%) HCC samples and 11 (41%) adjacent non-tumor liver samples were HBxAg-positive. No association with AFB1-DNA adducts was observed for HBsAg and HBxAg. These results suggest that both AFB1 exposure and carrier status of HBsAg/HBxAg may be involved in the induction of HCC in Taiwan.

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