Recent studies have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with high risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Insulin resistance (IR), which correlates inversely with circulating adiponectin concentration, is a consistent finding in patients with type 2 DM. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been reported to be associated with increased IR. Recent studies suggest that IR plays a crucial role in fibrosis progression, and has been demonstrated to have a negative impact on treatment responses to antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
A research article to be published on May 14, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Dr. Hung from Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital prospectively investigated the IR assessed by the homeostasis model (HOMA-IR) and serum adiponectin level in two independent cohorts of consecutive newly diagnosed HCC patients and those with different clinical stages of chronic HCV infection. Among 165 HCC patients, type 2 DM was more prevalent in HCV subjects compared to hepatitis B virus (HBV) or non-HBV, non-HCV cases. HOMA-IR was higher in HCC patients with HCV than in those with HBV infection. In 188 patients with chronic hepatitis C, HCC subjects had higher blood sugar, insulin level and HOMA-IR than those with chronic hepatitis and advanced fibrosis.
Based on stepwise logistic regression analysis, HOMA-IR was one of the independent factors associated with HCC development. This result was similar even if the diabetic subjects were excluded for analysis. The research team concluded that increased IR, regardless of the presence of diabetes, is significantly associated with HCC development in patients with chronic HCV infection.
These findings may have important prognostic and therapeutic implications in the management of chronic HCV-infected patients. Since IR is a potentially modifiable factor, therapeutic intervention aimed at decreasing IR may be warranted in these patients.
Reference: Hung CH, Wang JH, Hu TH, Chen CH, Chang KC, Yen YH, Kuo YH, Tsai MC, Lu SN, Lee CM. Insulin resistance is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis C infection. World J Gastroenterol 2010; 16(18): 2265-2271 http://www.
Correspondence to: Dr. Chao-Hung Hung, Division of Hepatogastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, 123 Ta Pei Road, Niao Sung 833, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, China. firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: +886-7-7317123 Fax: +886-7-7322402
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World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2008 IF: 2.081. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
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