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Keywords:

  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • childhood;
  • cyclin D1;
  • 13q;
  • loss of heterozygosity

Abstract:Aims/Background: In hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma(HCC), at least 20–40 years of continuous necro-inflammation is necessary for the hepato-carcinogenesis to occur. However, HCC in childhood shows an unusually short latent period and rapid progression. In our previous report, mutation of c-met was found only in childhood HCC, but not in adult HCC. In order to determine the specific biological tumorous features of childhood HCC, a comparison study of childhood and adult HCC was performed. Methods: Eighteen cases of HBV positive HCC (nine children and nine adults aged more than 40 years) were selected. The expression of G1 phase regulatory proteins (cyclin D1, cyclin E and cdk4) was studied using immunohistochemical methods. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomal arms 8p, 13q and 17p was analyzed. Results: Cyclin D1 expression was significantly lower in childhood HCC than in adult HCC (cases of cyclin D1 expression under 3+: childhood 5/9 vs. adult 1/9, p=0.046). No difference in cyclin E and cdk4 expression was found between childhood and adult HCC. LOH frequency on 13q was relatively higher in childhood than in adult HCC (66.7% vs. 22.2%, p=0.058). LOH frequency on 8p and 17p was 44.4% and 33.3% in childhood HCC and 44.4% and 75% in adult HCC with no statistical significance between the two groups. Conclusion: Our data suggest that childhood HCC may be less dependent on cyclin D1 protein for tumor growth and progression than adult HCC, and that the LOH on 13q may be an important feature of childhood HCC.