Document Type : Research Articles
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Egypt.
Department of Pathology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt.
Department of Surgery, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt.
Faculty of Biotechnology,October University for Modern Sciences and Arts, Giza, Egypt.
Department of Surgery, National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt.
HCV induced hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma as its sequel are major health problems world-wide and especially in Egypt. For diagnosis and during treatment of liver diseases, liver functions are monitored through determination of serum levels of liver enzymes and α-fetoprotein although the obtained information is generally not sufficient for either early detection of hepatic insult or effective follow up of therapeutic effects. More sensitive biomarkers may help to achieve these goals. MiRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that have an important role in gene expression and regulation. Many, such as miR-224, miR-215, miR-143 are correlated with tumor appearance and with the degree of fibrosis in lung, breast and colon cancer. This study was performed to estimate the level of these miRNAs in serum of patients with HCV-associated hepatitis and HCC in relation to grade of hepatitis, stage of fibrosis and differentiation of tumor tissue. In addition, correlations between serological and tissue levels were assessed. A total of 80 patients were examined, out of which 50 were included in the study. Blood samples and tissue specimens from malignant tumor and corresponding non-tumor tissue of HCV hepatitis patients were collected. Blood samples from 20 healthy volunteers were also obtained as controls. It was found that miRNAs profiles differed in HCC patients compared to controls and HCV-associated hepatitis cases. Distinction of tumor grade and fibrosis stage of patients as well as between different grades of tumor differentiation proved possible, making miRNAs promising biomarkers for diagnosis and assessment of treatment response of HCC patients.