Japanese researchers have found a gene variant associated with development of liver cancer in carriers of hepatitis C virus (HCV) (Miki D et al. Nat Gen. 10.1038/ng.876 [published online ahead of print July 3, 2011]).
The researchers conducted a genome-wide study, analyzing 467 538 genetic variants from 212 Japanese individuals with chronic HCV infection who developed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and 765 individuals with chronic HCV without HCC. They found 1 variant, located in a gene called DEPDC5, associated with an increase in HCC risk, a finding confirmed in an independent case-control population (710 cases and 1625 controls). When the results were adjusted for age, sex, and platelet count, the variant was found to almost double the risk of developing HCC.
Friedrich MJ. Genetic Risk for HCV. JAMA. 2011;306(7):694. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1156