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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1996 May;87(5):419-22.

Shortened telomere length in hepatocellular carcinomas and corresponding background liver tissues of patients infected with hepatitis virus.

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Department of Oncological Pathology, Nara Medical University, Nara, Japan.


The telomere length in 20 surgically resected human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and adjacent non-cancerous livers with hepatitis virus infection were investigated. All the HCC samples examined demonstrated shorter telomere length than the corresponding non-cancerous liver tissues, the respective average values being 5.4 kbp and 8.8 kbp (P < 0.001). The shortening of telomere length was most prominent in HCCs larger than 30 mm in diameter, and in both tumors and non-cancerous livers it was more marked with hepatitis B virus as compared with hepatitis C virus infection. These results indicate that telomere shortening is associated with not only progression, but also development of HCC, and there is a possible difference in the nature of the association in patients with hepatitis viruses of B and C types.

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