Hepatitis C may increase pancreatic cancer risk

January 13, 2009

A new study shows that infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) increases a person's risk for a highly fatal cancer of the biliary tree, the bile carrying pathway between the liver and pancreas. This finding is in the January issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

More than 4 million Americans are infected with HCV, which causes chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. However, the associations between the virus and other potentially-related cancers are less clear.

To better understand the associations between HCV and these cancers, researchers led by Hashem El-Serag of Baylor College of Medicine, conducted a retrospective cohort study of more than 718,000 U.S. veterans who were treated at Veterans Affairs medical facilities between October 1, 1988 and September 30, 2004. Among them, 146,394 were infected with HCV and 572,293 were not. Uninfected subjects were matched to infected ones by sex, age and type and date of visit.

The researchers followed the subjects for an average of 2.3 years to determine the incidence these cancers. They found that "risk for biliary tree cancer in the HCV-infected cohort, although low (4 per 100,000 person-years), was more than double that in the HCV-uninfected cohort."

The study is the first to formally examine the association between HCV and pancreatic cancer. It is also the first time a significant association has been detected between HCV and this type of cancer in a large cohort study. The findings may lead to greater examination of rare malignancies.

Article: "Risk of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancers Following Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Population-based Study of U.S. Veterans." El-Serag, Hashem; Engels, Eric; Landgren, Ola; Henderson, Louise; Chiao, Elizabeth; Amaratunge, Harshinie; Giordano, Thomas. Hepatology ; January 2009.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: The HLF-gene controls the generation of our long-term immune system

Related Stories

The HLF-gene controls the generation of our long-term immune system

November 22, 2017
A research group at Lund University in Sweden has found that when the HLF (hepatic leukemia factor) gene –which is expressed in immature blood cells – does not shut down on time, we are unable to develop a functional ...

Hepatitis B viral load, surface antigen may ID liver cancer risk

November 1, 2017
(HealthDay)—Elevated levels of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) are associated with increased risks of liver cancer, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the Journal of Gastroenterology ...

Experts demand better prevention, treatment for children with hepatitis

November 3, 2017
Experts at the second World Hepatitis Summit Friday called for improved preventative measures and treatment for 52 million children suffering from the disease, on the final day of the three-day event in Sao Paulo.

Only half of people in US living with curable cancer-causing disease are aware

November 1, 2017
New data released at this year's World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil (1-3 November) show that out of an estimated 2.7 million people now living with hepatitis C in the US, only just over half (55%) are aware, contributing ...

Promising new drug for hepatitis B tested

November 7, 2017
Research at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) on the campus of Texas Biomedical Research Institute helped advance a new treatment now in human trials for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Testing ...

Worldwide 52 million children living with viral hepatitis

November 3, 2017
New data presented at this year's World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil (1-3 November) show that 52 million children are living with viral hepatitis worldwide, compared to 2.1 million children living with HIV/AIDS.

Recommended for you

Researchers unravel novel mechanism by which tumors grow resistant to radiotherapy

November 23, 2017
A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered a key mechanism by which tumors develop resistance to radiation therapy and shown how such resistance might be overcome with drugs that are currently under development. The discovery ...

African Americans face highest risk for multiple myeloma yet underrepresented in research

November 23, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

Encouraging oxygen's assault on iron may offer new way to kill lung cancer cells

November 22, 2017
Blocking the action of a key protein frees oxygen to damage iron-dependent proteins in lung and breast cancer cells, slowing their growth and making them easier to kill. This is the implication of a study led by researchers ...

One-size treatment for blood cancer probably doesn't fit all, researchers say

November 22, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

One in four U.S. seniors with cancer has had it before

November 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—For a quarter of American seniors, a cancer diagnosis signals the return of an old foe, new research shows.

Combination immunotherapy targets cancer resistance

November 22, 2017
Cancer immunotherapy drugs have had notable but limited success because in many cases, tumors develop resistance to treatment. But researchers at Yale and Stanford have identified an experimental antibody that overcomes this ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Jan 13, 2009
A COOL steril water drip between the infection and the "tree" may stop the infection!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.