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Br J Cancer. 2008 Feb 12;98(3):580-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604204. Epub 2008 Jan 29.

Hepatic oxidative DNA damage is associated with increased risk for hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis C.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Division of Clinical Medicine and Biomedical Science, Institute of Medical Sciences, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Mie, Japan.


Although the oxidative stress frequently occurs in patients with chronic hepatitis C, its role in future hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development is unknown. Hepatic 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was quantified using liver biopsy samples from 118 naïve patients who underwent liver biopsy from 1995 to 2001. The predictability of 8-OHdG for future HCC development and its relations to epidemiologic, biochemical and histological baseline characteristics were evaluated. During the follow-up period (mean was 6.7+/-3.3 years), HCC was identified in 36 patients (30.5%). Univariate analysis revealed that 16 variables, including 8-OHdG counts (65.2+/-20.2 vs 40.0+/-23.5 cells per 10(5) microm2, P<0.0001), were significantly different between patients with and without HCC. Cox proportional hazard analysis showed that the hepatic 8-OHdG (P=0.0058) and fibrosis (P=0.0181) were independent predicting factors of HCC. Remarkably, 8-OHdG levels were positively correlated with body and hepatic iron storage markers (vs ferritin, P<0.0001 vs hepatic iron score, P<0.0001). This study showed that oxidative DNA damage is associated with increased risk for HCC and hepatic 8-OHdG levels are useful as markers to identify the extreme high-risk subgroup. The strong correlation between hepatic DNA damage and iron overload suggests that the iron content may be a strong mediator of oxidative stress and iron reduction may reduce HCC incidence in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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