Hepatitis B and C viruses are considered to be hepatotropic and are a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma.
However, little is known about the role of Hepatitis B and C virus infection in other malignancies.
Dr James Abbruzzese and colleagues from Texas examined whether Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus infections increase the risk for pancreatic cancer development.
The team identified 476 patients with pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, and 879 age-, sex-, and race-matched healthy controls.
Blood samples were tested for the presence of Hepatitis C virus antibodies, Hepatitis B virus surface antigen, antibodies against Hepatitis B virus core antigen, and antibodies against Hepatitis B virus surface antigen.
|Anti-Hep C virus was positive in 2% of cases|
|Journal of Clinical Oncology|
The positive samples were retested by 2 confirmatory tests.
An unconditional multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios.
The researchers found anti-Hepatitis C virus was positive in 2% of cases and 1% of controls.
Anti-Hepatitis B virus core antigen was positive in 8% of cases and 3% of controls.
The estimated adjusted odds ratios for anti-Hepatitis C virus–positive was 0.9, and for anti-Hepatitis B virus core antigen–positive was 2.5.
The adjusted odds ratio of anti-Hepatitis B virus core antigen–positive to anti-against Hepatitis B virus surface antigen–positive was 2.3..
The adjusted odds ratio with anti-Hepatitis B virus core antigen–positive to anti-against Hepatitis B virus surface antigen–negative was 4.
Risk modification by past exposure to Hepatitis B virus was observed among diabetics.
Dr Abbruzzese's team concluded, “Past exposure to Hepatitis B virus may be associated with pancreatic cancer development.”
“Should such findings be confirmed by other studies, it may offer important insights into the etiology of pancreatic cancer.”
“This may also suggest the need to consider prevention of Hepatitis B virus reactivation among patients with Hepatitis B virus-related pancreatic cancer during chemotherapy.”