The Possible Role of Adipokines in HCV Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Medical Oncology, Damietta Oncology Center, Damietta,, Egypt.

2 Department of Medical Oncology and Malignant Hematology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

3 Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

4 Molecular Virology and Immunology Unit, Department of Cancer Biology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


Background: Adipokines play an important role in the regulation of inflammation and tumor progression. Aim: Assessment of the possible role of adiponectin, leptin and visfatin in HCV associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: patients were classified into 85 patients with HCV associated HCC, 100 patients with chronic hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection compared to 50 normal control (NC) subjects. All subjects included in the study were assessed for HCV infection by seropositive HCV antibodies, as well as HCV RNA by RT-PCR. Serum levels of adiponectin, leptin and visfatin were assessed using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The data were correlated to the relevant clinic-pathological features of the patients, and the overall survival (OS) rate. Results: There was a significant difference in the serum levels of adiponectin and visfatin among HCC, HCV and NC groups (P<0.001). The serum levels of leptin and alpha fetoprotein (AFP) were significantly higher in HCC group (P<0.001). There was a significant association between the serum level of adiponectin and advanced Child class liver cirrhosis (P=0.03), as well as with poor performance status (ECOG, P=0.02). Serum leptin associated significantly with the number of lesions in the liver (P=0.006), visfatin associated with increased mortality rate (P<0.001). Adiponectin, leptin and visfatin associated significantly with liver cirrhosis in HCV patients (P<0.01). Leptin achieved the highest sensitivity (98.8%). visfatin achieved the highest specificity (100%) and PPV (100%) for detection of HCC. The combination of serum leptin and visfatin for the diagnosis of HCV associated HCC showed sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy (100%, 96.6%, 93.4%, 100% and 97.4%; respectively). Conclusion: Adiponectin, leptin and visfatin have an important role(s) in the pathogenesis of HCV associated HCC. 


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