Role of hepatitis B virus genotypes Ba and C, core promoter and precore mutations on hepatocellular carcinoma: a case control study

Carcinogenesis. 2004 Sep;25(9):1593-8. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgh172. Epub 2004 Apr 16.


The role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes, core promoter (CP) and precore mutants on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still controversial. We aimed to determine their role on the development and clinical features of HCC. HBV genotypes and CP/precore mutations were determined in 90 HCC patients and 180 matched control patients. In the 90 HCC patients, 22 (24.4%) and 68 (75.6%) had subtype Ba and genotype C, respectively. The prevalence of genotype C and CP mutations was significantly higher in HCC patients compared with controls (75.6 versus 57.8%, P = 0.004; 90.9 versus 74.8%, respectively, P = 0.007). Among carriers of genotype C, 91.8% of the HCC patients and 88.8% of controls had CP mutations. Among carriers of subtype Ba, HCC patients had a higher prevalence of CP mutations compared with controls (88.2 versus 54.5%, respectively, P = 0.02). By logistic regression analysis, the only factor associated with HCC was a mutation of the CP region (P = 0.032). There were no differences in the clinical features on presentation, the chance of receiving treatment and the cumulative survival rate for chemoembolization-treated patients between patients with subtype Ba and genotype C. There was too small a number of CP wild-type to do a similar comparison with CP mutants. In conclusion, there was a significantly higher prevalence of both genotype C and CP mutations in patients with HCC. The association between HBV genotype C and HCC was probably not genuine but was due to the high percentage of CP mutations in patients with genotype C.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / virology*
  • Carrier State*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis B / complications*
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • Risk Factors