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Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection often results in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Previous studies have shown that there might be some characteristic mutations in the core region of HCV related to HCC. Thus, we downloaded and analyzed HCV genotype 1b core gene sequences from HCV databases online to identify them. Based on the information of the sequences, 63 from patients with HCC and 188 from non-HCC were enrolled into our analysis. Then, the nucleotides at each position were compared by χ2-test between the two groups, and 24 polymorphisms were found to be associated with HCC. Further analysis of these 24 polymorphisms by logistic regression indicated that eight were significantly related to the increased HCC risk: A028C, G209A, C219U/A, U264C, A271C/U, C378U/A, G435A/C, and G481A. Moreover, U303C/A was associated with the decreased HCC risk. These mutations could bring about four amino acid substitutions: K10Q, R70Q, M91L, and G161S. In conclusion, eight characteristic mutations in the HCV-1b core gene related to the occurrence of HCC were identified. The structural and functional alterations of core protein due to these mutations and the relationship with the occurrence of HCC need to be further studied. (Cancer Sci 2009; 100: 2465–2468)