Document Type: Research Articles
Virology and Immunology Unit, Cancer Biology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Endemic Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of public health, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Yassin Abdel Ghaffar Charity Hospital, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Objective: We assessed the possibility of using mitochondrial (mt) DNA deletion as a molecular biomarker for disease progression in HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to identify its association with folic acid status. Methods: Serum folic acid and lymphocytic mtDNA deletions were assessed in 90 patients; 50 with HCC, 20 with liver cirrhosis (LC), and 20 with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) compared to 10 healthy control subjects. The diagnostic accuracy of mtDNA deletions frequency was evaluated using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Differences in the survival rates were compared using log-rank test. Result: Our data revealed a significant elevation of mtDNA deletions frequency in the HCC group compared to the other groups (P-value <0.01). Also, our data showed a significant correlation between folate deficiency and high frequency of mtDNA deletions in patients with HCV-related HCC when compared to the other groups (r= -0.094 and P-value <0.05). Moreover, the size of the hepatic focal lesion in the HCC patients was positively correlated with mtDNA deletions (r= 0.09 and P-value <0.01). The median survival time for the HCC patients with high frequency of mtDNA deletions (ΔCt ≥3.9; 5.7+ 0.6 months) was significantly shorter than those with low mtDNA deletions frequency (ΔCt < 3.9; 11.9+ 0.04 months, P-value <0.01). Conclusion: Our data provided an evidence that lymphocytic mtDNA deletion could be used as non-invasive biomarker for disease progression and patients’ survival in HCV-related HCC. Also, our findings implied a causal relationship between the folate deficiency and the high mtDNA deletions frequency among Egyptian patients with HCV related HCC.