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Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2019 Nov 6;12:433-439. doi: 10.2147/CEG.S206194. eCollection 2019.

Association of IFNL3 rs12979860 polymorphism with HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma susceptibility in a Chinese population.

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Tianjin Second People's Hospital and Tianjin Institute of Hepatology, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Tsinghua University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Section of Gastroenterology, Ralph H Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Charleston, SC, USA.



The association between interferon lambda-3 (IFNL3,also known as interleukin 28B, IL28B) rs12979860 polymorphism and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been investigated in recent studies with inconclusive and inconsistent results. IFNL3 rs12979860 polymorphism has been shown a marked differential distribution with regional and ethnic variation. Whether this single nucleotide polymorphism influences susceptibility to hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related HCC remains elusive.


In this case-control study, a total of 157 Chinese Han patients with chronic HCV infection were enrolled, including 62 HCV-related HCC patients and 95 chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients without HCC, and the genetic polymorphism of IFNL3 rs12979860 was genotyped via a DNA microarray-based assay. The logistic regression analysis was employed to determine the correlation between the genetic polymorphism and risk of HCV-related HCC.


A higher proportion of CT/TT genotype and T allele was observed in HCC patients compared to the CHC group. Under the genetic model of allele frequency, the T allele was associated with elevated risk of HCV-related HCC in the Chinese population compared to C allele after an adjustment for age, gender, body mass index, HCV infection duration, and HCV genotypes (P=0.046). In the subgroup analysis stratified by HCV genotype, subjects with CHC genotype 1b infection carrying rs12979860 T allele and CT+TT genotype had higher susceptibility to HCC than those with C allele and CC genotype (P=0.020, P=0.037, respectively).


IFNL3 rs12979860 polymorphism with T allele could be a factor that increases the risk of HCV-related HCC in the Chinese population, especially those subjects with CHC genotype 1b infection.


HCC; HCV; IFNL3; polymorphism; rs12979860

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