Navigation Links
New study confirms link between nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and liver cancer

A study conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic finds that patients suffering from cirrhosis preceded by nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are at an equal risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma than those who develop cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis C virus (HCV). Results of this study appear in the June issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) doubled in the United States between 1983 and 2002. It is currently considered the third leading cause of cancer deaths. The increasing incidence of HCC parallels the obesity epidemic. An estimated two-thirds of obese people have some form of fatty liver, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can progress to cirrhosis and subsequently HCC. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NASH affects 2% to 5% of Americans and ranks as one of the major causes of cirrhosis in the U.S., behind HCV and alcoholic liver disease.

The Cleveland Clinic team, led by Nizar N. Zein, M.D., evaluated a total of 510 patients, 315 with liver cirrhosis secondary to chronic HCV infection and 195 with NASH-induced cirrhosis, to compare the incidence of NASH-cirrhosis to HCV-cirrhosis, and to identify HCC risk factors in each group. Over a median follow-up time of 3.2 years after cirrhosis diagnosis, the yearly cumulative incidence of HCC was 2.6% per year in patients with NASH-cirrhosis compared to 4.0% per year in those with HCV-cirrhosis. These figures suggest that NASH carries a risk of HCC that rivals the risk in patients with HCV-cirrhosis.

Results indicate three factors that are statistically significant in the development of HCC within the NASH-cirrhosis group. An older age at time of cirrhosis diagnosis and a higher BMI were negatively associated with the development of HCC. Among the NASH population, researchers found that patients who reported any lifetime alcohol consumption were 3.6 times more likely to develop HCC than those who had no exposure to alcohol.

"The most significant factor recognized in this study was that of alcohol intake," said Dr. Zein. "Our study supports emerging data that alcohol intake, even in 'social' quantities, may potentially increase the risk of HCC development in NASH- and HCV-cirrhotic patients compared with non-drinkers."

The Cleveland Clinic study established that NASH-induced cirrhosis is a much greater risk factor for HCC than previously thought. A related study offers an explanation as to why NASH often progresses to liver cancer.

Researchers at Duke University hypothesized that natural killer T (NKT) cells modulate the liver's response to damage related to fat deposition. NKT cells are specialized types of T lymphoctyes (white blood cells) that reside in healthy livers and regulate immune responses that control tissue inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer progression.

Earlier studies from the Duke group and other researchers have demonstrated that the livers of animals and humans with mild forms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were relatively depleted of NKT cells and Th1 cytokines were abundant. In the current study, Anna Mae Diehl, M.D., and colleagues examined the possibility that excessive accumulation of NKT cells in the liver would tip the cytokine balance in the opposite direction, resulting in liver fibrosis.

Results showed that the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway became activated and NKT cells accumulated excessively in the livers of wild type mice that developed NASH-related liver fibrosis. "Hh pathway activation leads to hepatic enrichment with NKT cells that contribute to fibrosis progression in NASH," concluded Dr. Diehl. "Our study proves that activation of liver NKT cells generates soluble factors that promote fibrogenesis via a mechanism involving myofibroblastic activation of hepatic stellate cells. Because these results identify novel immune-mediated mechanisms that contribute to fibrosis progression in NASH, the findings have potential clinical implications for one of the most common types of chronic liver injury."

Contact: Dawn Peters

Related medicine news :

1. Center for the Study of Aging established at University of Denver
2. Heart Drugs Safe for Lungs, Study Finds
3. New national study examines pediatric mobility aid-related injuries
4. Insightful Case Study Details How Electronic Payment Exchange Saved a Global Firm More Than $3 Million in PCI-Related Costs
5. Fat in Males, Females Differs Genetically, Mouse Study Shows
6. New study finds attending Weight Watchers meetings helps reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes
7. Long-term use of anti-anxiety drugs continues in B.C. despite known health risks: UBC study
8. Study finds racial, ethnic disparities in family-centered care for kids with special health needs
9. First study examines postpolypectomy bleeding in colonoscopy patients on uninterrupted clopidogrel
10. Study Challenges Notion That Moderate Drinking Protects the Heart
11. Study: Yogurt-like drink DanActive reduced rate of common infections in daycare children
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases ... cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the ... 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its ... exclusive list of CAAHEP accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Marne, MI (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... center for substance abuse located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving ... a specially produced video, available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and ... offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These fields, ... 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November ... --> ... / personal emergency response system ... grow steadily for 5 years ... growing region expected to see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 --> ... combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced ... approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer. ... has found that immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... "Asia Pacific Cardiac Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - ... Drive the Demand " report to their offering. ... --> Boston scientific and others. ... global players including Medtronic, Biotronik, Boston ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: