Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is of the most frequent malignancies that suffer poor prognosis. In Egypt, HCC occurs mainly in the background of chronic infection with HCV. Early diagnosis of HCC development is crucial for proper management. Therefore, this study aimed to detect the expression of miR-122 and miR-483 in sera from Egyptian patients with HCV-related HCC and to evaluate their value as biomarkers for early detection of HCC.
Patients and methods: Fifty patients were included in this study. They were classified into 3 groups. Cirrhosis Group: 20 patients suffering HCV-related liver cirrhosis, HCC group: 20 patients suffering HCV-related HCC, and control group: 10 healthy volunteers. Real-time PCR was used for relative quantitation of miR-122 and miR-483 gene expression in test groups in comparison to the control group.
Results: The biomarkers, ALT, AST, AFP, and bilirubin, were significantly increased in both cirrhosis and HCC groups compared to the control group. The elevation in these biomarkers in HCC group compared to the Cirrhosis group was highly significant. On the other hand, platelets, albumin, prothrombin percentage in HCC group were significantly decreased compared to the control group and Cirrhosis group. HCC group showed significantly higher expression levels of both miR-122 and miR-483 as compared to control and cirrhosis groups. miR-122 and 483 levels had the potential to discriminate HCC patients from non-HCC controls. miR- 122 has greater efficiency in diagnosis HCC than miR-483
Conclusion: The current study confirms the potential of miR-122 and miR-483 expression levels to discriminate HCC patients from non-HCC controls.
Keywords: HCV, HCC, miR-122, miR-483