Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major health problem worldwide. The DNA PM of cancer-related genes plays an important role in the development and progression of HCC. The data reported in our studies provide evidence that PM of p73, p14, and O6-MGMT is associated with HCC, whereas PM of the APC gene is more common in chronic hepatitis (CH) cases. Thus, it could be used as a maker for early detection of HCV-induced chronic active hepatitis. A panel of four genes APC, p73, p14, and O6-MGMT independently affected the classification of cases into HCC and CH with accuracy (89.9%), sensitivity (83.9%), and specificity (94.7%). Also, the detection of PM of APC, FHIT, p15, p16, and E-cadherin in peripheral blood of HCV-infected patients is a highly sensitive and specific. Therefore, blood could be used as efficiently as tissue biopsies to assess PM of different genes. This could help in the follow-up of CH patients and early detection of HCC. We did not observe a significant difference in the methylation status according to the virus type HBV versus HCV. So, plasma DNA is a reliable resource for methylation studies in the future, irrespective of the type of hepatitis infection.
Part of the book: Hepatitis C