A high prevalence of antibody to the hepatitis C virus in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in Japan

Cancer. 1991 Jan 15;67(2):429-33. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19910115)67:2<429::aid-cncr2820670218>3.0.co;2-#.


In Japan, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent cancers, with a reported fatality rate showing a consistent and significant increase in the last decade. At most, only 25% of HCC cases are positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). To investigate a potential role for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the development of HCC, sera from 105 HBsAg-negative HCC patients were collected from five districts of Japan and assayed for antibody to HCV antigen (HCVAb). A large number of these patients (76.2%) were found to be positive for the HCVAb in comparison with the reported prevalence in sera from blood donors (1.1%). A history of blood transfusion was found in 39.6% of the cases positive for HCVAb, which was significantly different to the lower rate (4.7%) observed in HCC patients who were both positive for HBsAg and negative for HCVAb (P less than 0.001).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / immunology*
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Prevalence


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens