A Functional Polymorphism in the Epidermal Growth Factor Gene Is Associated With Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 16.72). 03/2011; 141(1):141-9. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.03.045
Source: PubMed


A single nucleotide polymorphism 61*G (rs4444903) in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) gene has been associated, in 2 case-control studies, with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We tested associations between demographic, clinical, and genetic data and development of HCC, and developed a simple predictive model in a cohort of patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis.
Black and white subjects from the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) trial (n=816) were followed up prospectively for development of a definite or presumed case of HCC for a median time period of 6.1 years. We used the Cox proportional hazards regression model to determine the hazard ratio for risk of HCC and to develop prediction models.
Subjects with EGF genotype G/G had a higher adjusted risk for HCC than those with genotype A/A (hazard ratio, 2.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-4.23; P=.03). After adjusting for EGF genotype, blacks had no increased risk of HCC risk compared with whites. Higher serum levels of EGF were observed among subjects with at least one G allele (P=.08); the subset of subjects with EGF G/G genotype and above-median serum levels of EGF had the highest risk of HCC. We developed a simple prediction model that included the EGF genotype to identify patients at low, intermediate, and high risk for HCC; 6-year cumulative HCC incidences were 2.3%, 10.4%, and 26%, respectively.
We associated the EGF genotype G/G with increased risk for HCC; differences in its frequency among black and white subjects might account for differences in HCC incidence between these groups. We developed a model that incorporates EGF genotype and demographic and clinical variables to identify patients at low, intermediate, and high risk for HCC.

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    • "Molecular biomarker Type No. of patients HR Race/ethnicity [Ref.] EGF 61*G (rs4444903) SNP 816 2.10 White, Hispanic, Black, Asian [142] MPO -463*G (rs2333227) SNP 205 2.80 White [144] CAT -262*C (rs1001179) SNP 205 1.74 White [144] "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major aetiologic agents that causes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by generating an inflammatory, fibrogenic, and carcinogenic tissue microenvironment in the liver. HCV-induced HCC is a rational target for cancer preventive intervention because of the clear-cut high-risk condition, cirrhosis, associated with high cancer incidence (1% to 7% per year). Studies have elucidated direct and indirect carcinogenic effects of HCV, which have in turn led to the identification of candidate HCC chemoprevention targets. Selective molecular targeted agents may enable personalized strategies for HCC chemoprevention. In addition, multiple experimental and epidemiological studies suggest the potential value of generic drugs or dietary supplements targeting inflammation, oxidant stress, or metabolic derangements as possible HCC chemopreventive agents. While the successful use of highly effective direct-acting antiviral agents will make important inroads into reducing long-term HCC risk, there will remain an important role for HCC chemoprevention even after viral cure, given the persistence of HCC risk in persons with advanced HCV fibrosis, as shown in recent studies. The successful development of cancer preventive therapies will be more challenging compared to cancer therapeutics because of the requirement for larger and longer clinical trials and the need for a safer toxicity profile given its use as a preventive agent. Molecular biomarkers to selectively identify high-risk population could help mitigate these challenges. Genome-wide, unbiased molecular characterization, high-throughput drug/gene screening, experimental model-based functional analysis, and systems-level in silico modelling are expected to complement each other to facilitate discovery of new HCC chemoprevention targets and therapies.
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    ABSTRACT: To identify the genetic susceptibility factor(s) for hepatitis C virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCV-induced HCC), we conducted a genome-wide association study using 432,703 autosomal SNPs in 721 individuals with HCV-induced HCC (cases) and 2890 HCV-negative controls of Japanese origin. Eight SNPs that showed possible association (P <1 10(⁻5)) in the genome-wide association study were further genotyped in 673 cases and 2596 controls. We found a previously unidentified locus in the 50 flanking region of MICA on 6p21.33 (rs2596542, P(combined) = 4.21 10(⁻13), odds ratio = 1.39) to be strongly associated with HCV induced HCC. Subsequent analyses using individuals with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) indicated that this SNP is not associated with CHC susceptibility (P = 0.61) but is significantly associated with progression from CHC to HCC (P = 3.13 10(⁻8)). We also found that the risk allele of rs2596542 was associated with lower soluble MICA protein levels in individuals with HCV-induced HCC (P = 1.38 10(⁻13)).
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of Hepatology
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermal growth factor (EGF) pathway stimulates proliferation and differentiation of epidermal and epithelial tissues, and plays an important role in tumorigenesis. The association between EGF polymorphisms and cancer risk is controversial; thus, we performed this meta-analysis. Overall, 41 case-control studies with 9,779 cases and 15,932 controls were retrieved. We found that EGF +61A/G polymorphism increased overall cancer risk (G allele vs. A allele: OR=1.181, 95% CI=1.077-1.295, P(heterogeneity) < 0.001; GG vs. AA: OR=1.370, 95% CI=1.143-1.641, P(heterogeneity) < 0.001; GG+GA vs. AA: OR=1.175, 95% CI=1.047-1.318, P(heterogeneity) < 0.001). In the stratified analysis by cancer type, the +61 G allele was a risk factor for colorectal cancer, esophageal carcinoma, gastric cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Individuals who carried +61G allele had higher cancer susceptibility in mixed and European racial subgroups. An increased association was detected in the hospital-based subgroup. No significant association was found among EGF -1380A/G, -1744G/A, rs6983267T/G polymorphisms and cancer risk.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · DNA and cell biology
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