"This study is of great interest to the scientific community, which is working toward better understanding HBV integration in HCC," said Hancheng Zheng, Primary Investigator of this project at BGI. "Based on these results, we can better explore the detailed molecular mechanism and clinical impact of HBV integration, promoting the discovery and development of future liver cancer treatments."
Researchers also observed that the number of HBV integration events (recurrences) is positively associated with the tumor size, serum HBsAg and α-fetoprotein level. Patients with no or low numbers (n<3) of detected HBV integrations in their tumor survived longer than those with a high number of HBV integrations (n>3), suggesting that HBV integration events are a negative prognostic indicator in HCC patients.
"A deep understanding of the recurring HBV insertions in HCC will help the research community identify novel molecular targets in liver cancer, for which effective treatments are still limited," said John Luk, Honorary Professor of HKU, Adjunct Professor of NUS and IMCB, Head of Oncology, Roche Shanghai.
The researchers indicated that HBV integrations have some characteristics that may help the virus to control specific genes in the host tumor. They found HBV integration sites are typically found close to or inside of the targeted genes, which may be a mechanism for HBV to control the expression of some oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. More than 40 percent of the integrations were observed to break the HBV genome at position 1,800 and integrate into the human genome. This may be due to the fact that the HBV enhancer and the HBV ORF replication sites are found at this locus. Moreover, they observed that HBV integrations correlated with increased D
|Contact: Jia Liu|