Viral Etiology of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and HCV Genotypes in TaiwanLee C.-M.a · Hung C.-H.a · Lu S.-N.a · Wang J.-H.a · Tung H.-D.a · Huang W.-S.a · Chen C.-L.b · Chen W.-J.c · Changchien C.-S.a
aDivision of Hepatogastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, and Departments of
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Etiologic variations of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) exist in different geographic areas of the world. Hepatitis B virus infection is associated with HCC. However, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection plays an increasingly more important role in the development of HCC and is associated with more than 30% of HCC in Taiwan. The prevalence of HCV infection and HCV genotypes vary in different geographic areas. The prevalence of HCV genotype 1b (HCV-1b) was around 50–70% in Taiwan and even varied in different townships. In addition to host factors, HCV genotypes may be associated with the development of HCC. In our study, the prevalence of HCV-1b in patients with HCC was significantly higher than in those with liver cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis; multivariate analysis revealed that the disease severity was significantly correlated with age and HCV-1b. Furthermore, HCV-1b was associated with a lower response rate to interferon (IFN) therapy than HCV-2. Our study has demonstrated that mutations in the IFN sensitivity-determining region, spanning nucleotides 2,209–2,248 in the NS5A region, correlate with the sustained virological response to combination therapy with IFN and ribavirin in patients with chronic HCV-1b infection in Taiwan. A third-generation enzyme immunoassay for antibody to HCV can be used to predict viremia and monitor the virological response.
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