Patients who are infected with hepatitis C virus for the long term which can lead to Chronic hepatitis C and develop to cirrhosis and liver cancer, the 3rd common reason in death cases related to cancer.
In the world, there are more than 170 millions of people who have hepatitis C virus, and there is 30 to 70% of cases developing to liver cancer is related to hepatitis C virus. The recent identification of a gene variant associated with increased sensitivity in patients with liver cancer caused by hepatitis C virus, which is very meaningful for the global health foundation, because it can lead to accurate checking and prediction of liver cancer at an early stage.
A Japanese doctor and his colleges in Japan Genetic Medicine Center has discovered variants by analyzing the entire genome of more than 700 patients with liver cancer caused by hepatitis C virus and compared them with more than 2000 healthy people with a negative result with hepatitis C virus. This allows researchers to define variations which are likely related to the kind of liver cancer which is caused by hepatitis C virus. They confirmed the connection of a variant by repeating studies on more than 600 patients with liver cancer and more than 2000 healthy people with a negative result with hepatitis C virus.
This variant is located in a region on chromosome 6, in which many genes are important for the functioning of the immune system. It is located between MICA gene encoding a membrane protein activation effect anti-tumor effects of white blood cells, and gene HLA-B, in which encoding a peptide, allows the immune system to distinguish between the characteristics of the body proteins and the proteins of invading bacteria.
Scientists checked another variant of more than 1700 patients with chronic hepatitis C but they didn’t found the development of cirrhosis or liver cancer, but they revealed that they significantly involve to the development of chronic hepatitis C which also leads to liver cancer, but they are not sensitive to chronic hepatitis C.
These findings suggest that patients with genetic variants will have low levels of the protein MICA. This will lead to a decrease in the response of white blood cells, resulting in virus-infected cells, increases the likelihood of progression of chronic hepatitis C to liver cancer stages.