Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Hepatitis B Virus Mutation Predicts Liver Cancer

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Hepatitis B Virus Mutation Predicts Liver Cancer

Article excerpt

Kuang SY, Jackson PE, Wang JB, Lu PX, Munoz A, Qian GS, Kensler TW, Groopman JD. 2004. Specific mutations of hepatitis B virus in plasma predict liver cancer development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:3575-3580.

Liver cancer is the fifth most prevalent form of cancer worldwide, causing more than 500,000 deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization. Exposure to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major risk factor in the development of liver cancer. Now a team including NIEHS grantees Alvaro Munoz, John D. Groopman, and Thomas W. Kensler, all of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified a biomarker that may predict future cases of liver cancer in HBV carriers.

Previous work by members of this team has shown that HBV exposure causes a 7-fold increase in risk. Exposure to aflatoxin, a mold product commonly found in peanuts and grains, increases the risk of liver cancer by 3.5 times. Combined exposure to these two agents results in a remarkable 60-fold increase in the risk of developing liver cancer. …

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