Division of Gastroenterology, Acibadem University School of Medicine, Istanbul 34752, Turkey.
© The Author(s) 2018. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, for any purpose, even commercially, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Given the high prevalence of viral hepatitis in the Eastern Mediterranean countries, hepatitis B and C infections are the major causes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the region. Most cases are associated with cirrhosis related to hepatitis B or C infection. Environmental, host genetic and viral factors can affect the risk of HCC in patients with hepatitis B and C infection. Understanding the epidemiology and viral risk factors in the region provides the implementation of strategies for prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis. Herein, we reviewed the epidemiology, burden of disease and viral risk factors for HCC.
Viral hepatitis, Eastern Mediterranean countries, hepatocellular carcinoma, epidemiology, risk factors, burden
Hepatocellular cancer (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer in men and the seventh most common cancer in women worldwide accounting for 90% of all primary liver cancers. Furthermore, HCC is the third leading cause of cancer-related death[1-3]. Because of the low resectability rate, high recurrence rate after resection and poor response to the conservative treatment, the prognosis of HCC is poor with a 5-year survival rate of 6.9%[1-3]. The burden of HCC is higher in developing countries and varies markedly by age, gender, race and exposure to risk factors in different geographic regions. In the Eastern Mediterranean countries, HCC has a lower prevalence compared to the highly prevalent regions like Eastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. However, HCC remains to be a major concern for countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This article reviews the epidemiology and viral risk factors of HCC in Eastern Mediterranean countries.
High-incidence regions of HCC are sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Asia with 25 and 35 cases per 100,000 population/year, respectively. In these regions, high incidence rate of HCC is associated with high hepatitis B virus (HBV) prevalence. China has the highest incidence of HCC in the world, accounting for more than 40% of all HCC cases and 55% of liver cancer deaths[3,4]. Southern European countries have an intermediate-incidence (10-20 cases per 100,000 population/year); while North America, South America, Northern Europe, and parts of Middle East have low-incidence rates (< 5 cases per 100,000 population/year)[3-5]. The incidence in Asian countries tends to decline in the past 2 decades whilst it increased in United States and Canada because of high rate of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and immigrants from HBV endemic regions.
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections are the most important risk factors for HCC. Geographic distribution of HBV and HCV infections is the major factor, which determines the incidence of HCC. Owing to the high hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroprevalance rates, HCC incidence is highest in East Asia and Africa. On the other hand, HCV is the etiological factor in approximately 20% of all HCC cases, particularly in the low-incidence regions such as Western Europe and North America[3,6].
The mean age of HCC diagnosis was 55-59 years in China and 63-65 years in Europe and North America. Men were found to have 2-4 fold increased incidence of HCC than women. The results of the global burden of disease (GBD) study for 195 countries or territories from 1990 to 2015 showed that HCC was more common in men with 591,000 incident cases compared to women with 264,000 cases. Similarly, mortality rates were higher among men. The gender disparity was also notable for high rates of HBV-related and alcohol-related HCC in men. The variations in hepatitis carrier state, sex steroid hormones, immune responses and epigenetics were linked to higher HCC incidence rates among men.
According to GBD study 2015 report, in the Eastern Mediterranean countries age-standardized incidence rate (ASIR) of HCC was 8.1 per 100,000 in men, and 4.7 per 100,000 in women [Table 1]. HCC is a major health problem especially in certain countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In Egypt, HCC is the fourth most common cancer and is the second cause of cancer mortality in both sexes. In the last decades, a twofold increase of HCC was reported among chronic liver disease patients in Egypt with a significant decline of HBV and slight increase of HCV as risk factors. HCV is an important risk factor for HCC in Egypt where 71% of HCC cases were positive for anti-HCV antibodies. Likewise, in the Nile delta, hepatitis C rather than hepatitis B was linked to the development of HCC. In Saudi Arabia, and according to the National Cancer Registry, HCC is ranked the sixth most common cancer in males and thirteenth in females with a male to female ratio of 2.6:1. The overall age-standardized rate (ASR) is 3.5/100,000. ASR is 4.9/100,000 for males and 1.8/100,000 for females. The median age of diagnosis is 66 years. The results of a tertiary center in Saudi Arabia showed that most of the patients diagnosed with HCC presented at late tumor stages with advanced liver disease and had poor prognosis with an average of 33-month survival. This prompts the implementation of HCC surveillance strategies in this geographic region.
ASIR with 95% UI and male to female ratio by region, by sex in 2015
|ASIR 2015 (95% UI): male||ASIR 2015 (95% UI): female||ASIR ratio: male/female|
|HCC||8.1 (7.1-9.1)||4.7 (3.7-5.4)||1.7|
|HCC due to alcohol||1.4 (1.0-1.8)||0.3 (0.2-0.6)||4.7|
|HCC due to HBV||2.2 (1.7-2.6)||1 (0.7-1.2)||2.2|
|HCC due to HCV||3.5 (3.0-4.1)||2.4 (1.9-2.9)||1.5|
The major risk factors for HCC are the presence of cirrhosis, and HBV/HCV infection. Other factors, such as aflatoxin B exposure and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are important in certain regions of the world. In the high-incidence countries of Asia and Africa, chronic HBV infection and aflatoxin B exposure are the major risk factors. Exceptionally, in Japan and Egypt the most common risk factor is HCV infection. On the contrary, excessive alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome play more important roles in the low-incidence regions. In addition, inherited metabolic disorders such as hemochromatosis, A1AT deficiency, tyrosinemia, several porphyrias also increase the risk of HCC.
The distribution of viral and other risk factors of HCC in the Eastern Mediterranean countries are summarized in Table 2.
Etiology of HCC in Eastern Mediterranean countries
|United Arab Emirates||21%||44%||22%||13%|
Countries with HBV prevalence of greater than 2% have increased incidence and mortality rates of HCC. The majority (70%-90%) of HBV-related HCC develops in patients with cirrhosis[14,15]. In persons chronically infected with HBV, the risk of HCC has been shown to increase up to 30-fold[14,15]. As a result of hepatic inflammation and liver damage, genetic and epigenetic defects lead to development of HCC[16-18]. However, in the absence of cirrhosis HCC can develop in 10%-20% of HBV-infected individuals as a result of integration of HBV into the host genome that induces chromosomal alterations and insertional mutagenesis of cancer genes[17-19]. The genetic instability of the hepatocyte triggers the clonal growth of hepatocytes before the liver damage occurs. HBV-encoded X protein (HBx) which is a multifunctional protein that regulates the expression of genes in the involved in the signal cascades, has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of HBV-related HCC[17-19]. In addition to cirrhosis, other factors reported to increase HCC risk among patients with chronic HBV comprise; demographic (male sex, older age, Asian or African ancestry, family history of HCC), viral [higher levels of HBV replication, HBeAg positivity, HBV genotype, longer duration of infection, co-infection with HCV, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or hepatitis D virus] and environment related factors (exposure to aflatoxin, excessive alcohol or tobacco consumption).
A population-based study of untreated chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients from Taiwan named the risk evaluation of viral load elevation and associated liver disease/cancer-hepatitis B virus (REVAL-HBV), first reported that high baseline serum HBV DNA level was associated with the risk of cirrhosis and HCC. The risk began to increase in a dose‐response relationship from < 300 (undetectable) to ≥ 1,000,000 copies/mL. Furthermore, patients with persistently high HBV DNA levels had the highest risk of HCC. The role of viral load on HCC development was also confirmed in several cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort studies from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China[21-23]. HBeAg-positivity, which shows active viral replication, is also associated with the development of HCC. Although long-term suppression of viral replication can be achieved with the use of potent oral antiviral therapies, the risk of HCC is not eliminated. This was clearly demonstrated in a study of 1378 patients comparing the incidence of HCC between patients who received oral antiviral treatment and inactive carriers. The study found a higher risk of HCC development in patients treated with oral antiviral drugs than those with inactive CHB and indicated that the risk of HCC is not eliminated in patients receiving oral antiviral treatment. These patients should continue to be screened for HCC.
HBV genotype is also important in determining the risk for HCC[26,27]. The risk is higher in patients with genotype C than patients with genotype B. High viral load and genotype C have an additive role in increasing the risk of HCC. Genotype D patients carry a higher risk for HCC than patients with genotype A. HBV genotype D was found to be the most prevalent genotype in studies reported from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia[29-32]. There is rare evidence to show the association genotypes with the risk of HCC in the Middle Eastern countries. Studies from Iran have also demonstrated a strong relationship of genotype D and mutations in basal core promotor (BCP) and precore regions with the disease outcomes[33,34].
The prevalence of HBV infection is complex and a major public health problem in Eastern Mediterranean countries. In the early studies, reported HBV prevalence rates ranged from < 2% to 2%-8% in most countries, reaching up to ≥ 10% in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan[29,35-38]. In the latest report of World Health Organization (WHO), Eastern Mediterranean countries have a prevalence of chronic HBV infection ranging from low intermediate (2%-4%) in most countries to high intermediate (5%-7%) in Somalia and Sudan[39,40]. The WHO estimates that more than four million people are infected yearly with HBV in this region. The lifetime risk of HBV infection in the pre-vaccination era ranged from 25% to > 75%, with continued transmission from the perinatal period throughout early children and adult life. It was estimated that around 100,000 persons from each birth cohort in the region would die from HBV-related liver disease and HCC during their lifetime. In these high-risk regions, the primary transmission routes are perinatal, child-to-child, sexual contact and percutaneous exposures (e.g., unsafe injections and blood transfusions).
Despite the introduction of hepatitis B vaccination programs, HBV continues to be transmitted among unvaccinated older children and adults. Therefore, in 2009 WHO Eastern Mediterranean regional committee implemented a regional target, to reduce the prevalence of CHB infection to less than 1% among children below 5 years of age by 2015. The national health agencies in the region supported the program with hepatitis B vaccination of newborns. By the end of 2014, 68% of the countries achieved the target. The rate of hepatitis B birth dose vaccination coverage in the region increased to 24% in 2014 compared to 14% in 2000. In 2014, 71% of newborns received a birth dose within 24 h in the countries, which had < 80% birth dose coverage.
A systematic review examining the viral etiologies of HCC in the Eastern Mediterranean countries indicated HBV as a major cause in 35%, 42.5%, 55% and 52% of HCC cases in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey and Iran, respectively. But the lack of high quality data and data registry systems represent a major challenge to determine the epidemiology of HCC in this region. Universal HBV vaccination is the most effective strategy to reduce the incidence of HCC. A 20-year follow-up report from Taiwan - an endemic region - clearly showed that HCC incidence among subjects 6-19 years of age decreased in the vaccinated cohort (64 HCC in 37,709,304 person-years), compared to the non-vaccinated cohort (444 HCC in 76,496,406 person-years), with the adjusted relative risk (RR) of 0.31.
The impact of vaccination programs on the incidence of HCC development in the Eastern Mediterranean countries needs to be clarified in future studies. However, many challenges remain. The war in this region leads to low or decreased coverage of vaccination programs. Furthermore, immigration after war is a major threat for the application of immunization programs, identification and treatment of CHB patients that will change the epidemiological trends for HBV and HBV-related HCC in the Eastern Mediterranean countries.
HCV is one of the major global causes of liver-related death and morbidity. The risk of HCC is increased 15-20 fold in patients chronically infected with HCV infection. Over the last decade, HCV seroprevalence is estimated to increase by 2.8%, accounting for more than 185 million infections worldwide. A systematic review analyzing the studies published between 2000 and 2015 from 138 countries (representing the 90% of the global population) estimated global HCV prevalence at 2.5%. Central Asia and Central Africa are estimated to have the highest prevalence (> 3.5%); East, South and Southeast Asia, West and East Africa, North Africa and Middle East, Southern and Tropical Latin America, Caribbean, Australasia, and Eastern Europe moderate prevalence (1.5%-3.5%); while Southern Africa, North America, Andean and Central Latin America, Pacific Asia and Western and Central Europe have low prevalence (< 1.5%). The global viremic rate was 67%, with HCV varying from 48.7% in Central Asia to 80.2% in Tropical Latin America. HCV genotype 1 is the most frequent genotype followed by genotype 3 (17.9%), genotype 4 (16.8%), genotype 2 (11%), genotype 5 (2%) and genotype 6 (1.4%). The genotypes reported to be associated with high risk of HCC are genotype 1b and genotype 3[46-48].
Chronic HCV infection causes increased inflammation and cell-turnover leading to cirrhosis and development of dysplastic nodules and HCC. Unlike HBV, HCV-associated hepatocarcinogenesis is more likely to be related to the indirect effects of the virus on the host cellular processes such as increased hepatocyte proliferation and steatosis, virus-induced inflammation and oxidative stress inducing genomic mutations and genome instability, mitochondrial damage and induction of reactive oxyen species, and virus-induced host immune responses. In untreated patients, cirrhosis develops in 14%-45% of patients 20 years after transmission of HCV. In patients with HCV-related cirrhosis, annual rate of HCC is 1%-4%, therefore patients with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis should undergo HCC surveillance. The risk factors for HCC are older age, black race, HCV genotype 1b, co-infection with HBV or HIV, diabetes, obesity, steatosis, heavy alcohol consumption and low platelet levels in patients with cirrhosis[49-52].
The HCV prevalence in the Eastern Mediterranean region ranges from 1% to 2.5% in most countries, with higher prevalence reported in Egypt (> 10%), and in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Sudan and Yemen (2.5%-10%). In the Eastern Mediterranean region of WHO, it is estimated that at least 23 million people have HCV infection. This represents almost the total of HCV patients in Europe and US. Regarding the parenteral spread by the previous use of intravenous anti-schistosomal treatment campaigns, HCV prevalence is very high in Egypt, particularly in the age group of 40-60 years[54-56]. A high prevalence of HCV among children born after these campaigns is explained by unsafe injections[54-56]. In Pakistan, the prevalence of HCV is variable from 2% to 14%, and HCV transmission in this region is due to unsafe injections.
HCV genotype is an important epidemiological determinant for the source and the possible mode of transmission. Furthermore, genotype has a substantial role in predicting the treatment response. Six major genotypes of HCV were described. In the Eastern Mediterranean countries, there are 2 predominant genotypes; genotype 4 in the Arab countries (except Jordan) and genotype 1 in non-Arab countries (Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel and Turkey). Egypt is of particular importance with more than 90% of genotype 4 HCV infection. The distribution of HCV genotype in Jordan differed from the other Arab countries, predominantly genotype 1a (40%), followed by genotype 1b (33%) and genotype 4 (33.3%). The most common genotype in Southern Israel was genotype 1b (62%) while genotype 4 (78%) was predominant in the Gaza Strip. Turkey serves as a bridge between Europe and Asia, and HCV genotype pattern is similar to Eastern and Southern European countries, having genotype 1b as the most frequent genotype (> 70%) followed by genotype 1a. HCV genotype 3a is the most common subtype in Iran followed by genotype 1a, 1b and 4. The predominant genotypes (1a and 4) are the most difficult-to-treat groups. The association between the HCV genotype and the risk of HCC is based on the epidemiological data however one can speculate that the poor response to interferon (IFN)-based regimens in genotype 1 and 4 patients may explain the disease progression and high risk of HCC development.
Chronic HCV infection leads to HCC following a multistep carcinogenesis pathway. Interferon (IFN)-based regimens provided sustained virologic response (SVR) in 40%-50% of patients. Recently developed direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), which directly target the viral protease, polymerase, or non-structural proteins, have achieved a revolutionary improvement of SVR rate over 90%.
In developing countries, less than 10% of HCV-infected patients can access to DAAs. Despite the high antiviral efficacy, high cost of the medications is a major barrier to the access to treatment of the sufferers[66,67]. In addition, more than 50% of infected individuals have unrecognized HCV infection. These patients generally present with advanced liver disease. Each year approximately 3-4 million newly infected cases are expected, the burden of HCV-related liver disease will remain to be high, even in the developed countries.
A systematic review including 13 studies on 2386 patients in Egypt estimated the annual rates of death/transplantation, decompensation and HCC in patients with compensated HCV cirrhosis to be 4.58%, 6.37% and 3.36%, respectively. In 2014, an estimated 125,000 viremic individuals/year were diagnosed with HCV infection. Of these 10% had chronic hepatitis, 30% had compensated cirrhosis, and the majority (60%) were diagnosed with decompensated cirrhosis or HCC[70,71]. The high prevalence of HCC in HCV patients was reported to be associated with decompensated cirrhosis in Egypt.
In the Eastern Mediterranean countries, treatment strategies are determined by the availability of resources, availability of medications and expected number of cases. In the countries, which have access to DAAs, treatment is prioritized for patients with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis. In 2014, national committee for control of viral hepatitis (NCCVH) in Egypt negotiated with the industry to decrease the price of DAAs. Furthermore, local generic treatments were encouraged and decreased the cost of treatment. This program provided treatment of large number Egyptian genotype 4 HCV patients. This model needs to be reproduced in other developing countries to decrease the risk of cirrhosis and HCC in HCV-infected individuals. Elimination of HCV by 2030 is one of the major targets of WHO by implementing models to reduce the rate of new infections and provide treatment access in middle and low income countries. Many countries including Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, the Netherlands and Qatar are on the track to eradicate hepatitis C by 2030.
The hepatitis D virus (HDV) is an incomplete RNA virus, which is dependent on HBsAg for transmission and replication[73,74]. HDV leads to fulminant hepatitis and further disease progression among hepatitis B infected patients. The long-term co-infection of HBV and HDV presents a worse prognosis than CHB infection. Up to 80% of HBV and HDV co-infected patients progress to cirrhosis[73,74]. It has been estimated that almost 5% of HBV infected patients have HDV co-infection[73,74].
The epidemiologic distribution of HDV infection is variable throughout the world. HDV is highly endemic in the Eastern Mediterranean countries. Two studies from Turkey show prevalence of anti-HDV in 18.8% to 23.0% of HBsAg positive HCC[37,76]. A Jordanian study reported the prevalence of anti-HDV in a small group of HBsAg positive HCC patients was 67%, but the sample size was very small. The risk of HCC is increased in HDV infection compared to HBV monoinfection. HDV infection increases the risk for HCC threefold and for mortality two fold in patients with hepatitis B cirrhosis[78,79]. However, the pathogenetic mechanism of HDV in HCC development has not been clarified yet. Oxidative stress as a result of severe necroinflammation, epigenetic mechanisms like DNA methylation and histone modification are the proposed mechanisms.
The only available treatment for HDV is interferon with a very low efficacy. Therefore, the spread of HDV can be prevented by effective HBV vaccination programs leading to a decrease in the incidence of HCC. Health-care providers should be educated to check for HDV infection in chronic HBV carriers. In addition, patients should be informed about the risk of superinfection from carriers co-infected with HDV and educated about preventive practices.
HBV and HCV infections are the most important etiologies for HCC in Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. Implementation of screening programs for individuals at high risk, maintaining HBV suppression in chronic hepatitis B and sustained viral response in CHC, surveillance of patients at high risk for developing HCC are recommended to prevent progression to cirrhosis and HCC development. The lack of data registry systems in the region resulted in limited understanding of the exact epidemiology of disease. Furthermore, the political and social unrest in the region and the immigrations after the wars may restrict the application of preventive programs and may lead to increased incidence of hepatitis. Public health policies should consider the future impact of the current situations.
Literature research, drafting and revision of the manuscript: Yapali S
Idea of the review, critical revision of the manuscript: Tozun NAvailability of data and materials
Not applicable.Financial support and sponsorship
None.Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.Ethical approval and consent to participate
Not applicable.Consent for publication
© The Author(s) 2018.
1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray F. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. Int J Cancer 2015;136:E359-86.DOIPubMed
2. Ozakyol A. Global epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC epidemiology). J Gastrointest Cancer 2017; doi: 10.1007/s12029-017-9959-0.DOI
3. Petruzziello A. Epidemiology of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) related hepatocellular carcinoma. Open Virol J 2018;12:26-32.DOIPubMedPMC
4. El-Serag HB. Epidemiology of viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Gastroenterology 2012;142:1264-73.e1.DOIPubMedPMC
5. El Serag HB, Davila JA, Petersen NJ, McGlynn KA. The continuing increase in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States: an update. Ann Intern Med 2003;139:817-23.DOIPubMed
6. Blachier M, Leleu H, Peck-Radosavljevic M, Valla DC, Roudot-Thorav F. The burden of liver disease in Europe: a review of available epidemiological data. J Hepatol 2013;58:593-608.DOIPubMed
7. Naugler WE, Sakurai T, Kim S, Maeda S, Kim K, Elsharkawy AM, Karin M. Gender disparity in liver cancer due to sex differences in MyD88-dependent IL-6 production. Science 2007;317:121-4.DOIPubMed
8. Global Burden of Disease Liver Cancer Collaboration., Akinyemiju T, Abera S, Ahmed M, Alam N, Alemayohu MA, Allen C, Al-Raddadi R, Alvis-Guzman N, Amoako Y, Artaman A, Ayele TA, Barac A, Bensenor I, Berhane A, Bhutta Z, Castillo-Rivas J, Chitheer A, Choi JY, Cowie B, Dandona L, Dandona R, Dey S, Dicker D, Phuc H, Ekwueme DU, Zaki MS, Fischer F, Fürst T, Hancock J, Hay SI, Hotez P, Jee SH, Kasaeian A, Khader Y, Khang YH, Kumar A, Kutz M, Larson H, Lopez A, Lunevicius R, Malekzadeh R, McAlinden C, Meier T, Mendoza W, Mokdad A, Moradi-Lakeh M, Nagel G, Nguyen Q, Nguyen G, Ogbo F, Patton G, Pereira DM, Pourmalek F, Qorbani M, Radfar A, Roshandel G, Salomon JA, Sanabria J, Sartorius B, Satpathy M, Sawhney M, Sepanlou S, Shackelford K, Shore H, Sun J, Mengistu DT, Topór-Mądry R, Tran B, Ukwaja, Vlassov V, Vollset SE, Vos T, Wakayo T, Weiderpass E, Werdecker A, Yonemoto N, Younis M, Yu C, Zaidi Z, Zhu L, Murray CJL, Naghavi M, Fitzmaurice C. The Burden of Primary Liver Cancer and Underlying Etiologies From 1990 to 2015 at the Global, Regional, and National Level Results From the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. JAMA Oncol 2017;3:1683-91.PubMed
9. El-Zayadi AR, Badran HM, Barakat EM, Mel-D Attia, Shawky S, Mohamed MK, Selim O, Saeid A. Hepatocellular carcinoma in Egypt: a single center study over a decade. World J Gastroenterol 2005;11:5193-8.PubMedPMC
10. Rahman El-Zayadi A, Abaza H, Shawky S, Mohamed MK, Selim OE, Badran HM. Prevalence and epidemiological features of hepatocellular carcinoma in Egypt-a single center experience. Hepatol Res 2001;19:170-9.DOI
11. Abd-Elsalam S, Elwan N, Soliman H, Ziada D, Elkhalawany W, Salama M, Hawash N, Arafa M, Badawi R, Shehata WM, Khalil HS, Elmashad N. Epidemiology of liver cancer in Nile delta over a decade: a single-center study. South Asian J Cancer 2018;7:24-6.PubMedPMC
12. Alswat KA, Sanai FM, Altuwaijri M, Albenmousa A, Almadi M, Al-Hamoudi WK, Abdo AA. Clinical characteristics of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in a middle eastern population. Hepat Mon 2013;13:e7612.DOIPubMedPMC
13. Franceschi S, Montella M, Polesel J, La Vecchia C, Crispo A, Dal Maso L, Casarin P, Izzo F, TommasI LG, Chemin I, Trepo C, Crovalto M, Talamini R. Hepatitis viruses, alcohol, and tobacco in the etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma in Italy. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev 2006;15:683-9.DOIPubMed
14. Ganem D, Prince AM. Hepatitis B virus infection--natural history and clinical consequences. N Engl J Med 2004;350:1118-29.DOIPubMed
15. Yang JD, Kim WR, Coelho R, Mettler TA, Benson JT, Sanderson SO, Therneau TM, Kim B, Roberts LR. Cirrhosis is present in most patients with hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2011;9:64-70.DOIPubMedPMC
16. Matsubara K, Tokino T. Integration of hepatitis B virus DNA and its implications for hepatocarcinogenesis. Mol Biol Med 1990;7:243-60.PubMed
17. Mason WS, Gill US, Litwin S, Zhou Y, Peri S, Pop O, Hong ML, Naik S, Quaglia A, Bertoletti A, Kennedy PT. HBV DNA integration and clonal hepatocyte expansion in chronic hepatitis B patients considered immune tolerant. Gastroenterology 2016;151:986-98.e4.DOIPubMed
18. Ringelhan M, O'Connor T, Protzer U, Heikenwalder M. The direct and indirect roles of HBV in liver cancer: prospective markers for HCC screening and potential therapeutic targets. J. Pathol 2015;235:355-67.DOIPubMed
19. Ringelhan M, McKeating JA, Protzer U. Viral hepatitis and liver cancer. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2017;372:20160274.DOIPubMedPMC
20. Chen CJ, Yang HI, Su J, Jen CL, You SL, Lu SN, Huang GT, Iloeje UH. Risk of hepatocellular carcinoma across a biological gradient of serum hepatitis B virus DNA level. JAMA 2006;295:65-73.DOIPubMed
21. Wong VW, Chan SL, Mo F, Chan TC, Loong HH, Wong GL, Lui YY, Chan AT, Sung JJ, Yeo W, Chan HL, Mok TS. Clinical scoring system to predict hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B carriers. J Clin Oncol 2010;28:1660-5.DOIPubMed
22. Yuen MF, Tanaka Y, Fong DY, Fung J, Wong DK, Yuen JC, But DY, Chan AO, Wong BC, Mizokami M, Lai CL. Independent risk factors and predictive score for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B. J Hepatol 2009;50:80-8.DOIPubMed
23. Liu CJ, Chen BF, Chen PJ, Lai MY, Huang WL, Kao JH, Chen DS. Role of hepatitis B viral load and basal core promoter mutation in hepatocellular carcinoma in hepatitis B carriers. J Infect Dis 2006;193:1258-65.DOIPubMed
24. Yang HI, Lu SN, Liaw YF, You SL, Sun CA, Wang LY, Hsiao CK, Chen PJ, Chen DS, Chen CJ, Taiwan Community-Based Cancer Screening Project Group. Hepatitis B e antigen and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. N Eng J Med 2002;347:168-74.DOIPubMed
25. Cho JY, Palk YH, Sohn W, Cho HC, Gwak GY, Choi MS, Lee JH, Koh KC, Paik SW, Yoo BC. Chronic hepatitis B patients treated with oral antiviral therapy retain a higher risk for HCC compared to inactive stage patients. Gut 2014;63:1943-50.DOIPubMed
26. Sánchez-Tapias JM, Costa J, Mas A, Bruguera M, Rodés J. Influence of hepatitis B virus genotype on the long-term outcome of chronic hepatitis B in western patients. Gastroenterology 2002;123:1848-56.DOIPubMed
27. Sumi H, Yokosuka O, Seki N, Aral M, Imazeki F, Kurihara T, Kanda T, Fuaki K, Kato M, Saisho H. Influence of hepatitis B virus genotypes on the progression of chronic type B liver disease. Hepatology 2003;37:19-26.DOIPubMed
28. Yu MW, Yeh SH, Chen PJ, Liaw YF, Lin CL, Liu CJ, Shih WL, Kao JH, Chen DS, Chen CJ. Hepatitis B virus genotype and DNA level and hepatocellular carcinoma: a prospective study in men. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:265-72.DOIPubMed
29. Tozun N, Ozdogan O, Cakaloglu Y, Idilman R, Karasu Z, Akarca U, Kaymakoglu S, Ergonul O. Seroprevalance of hepatitis B and C virus infections and risk factors in Turkey: a fieldwork TURHEP study. Clin Microbiol Infect 2015;21:1020-6.DOIPubMed
30. Aghakhani A, Hamkar R, Zamani N, Eslamifar A, Banifazl M, Saadat A, Sofian M, Adibi L, Irani N, Mehryar M, Akbari HMH, Purkhayat SMJ, Ramezani A. Hepatitis B virus genotype in Iranian patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Int J Infect Dis 2009;13:685-9.DOIPubMed
31. Baig S, Siddiqui AA, Ahmed W, Qureshi H, Arif A. The association of complex liver disorders with HBV genotypes prevalent in Pakistan. Virol J 2007;4:128.DOIPubMedPMC
32. Abdo AA, Al-Jarallah BM, Sanai FM, Hersi AS, Al-Swat K, Azzam NA, Al-Dukhayil M, Al-Maarik A, Al-Faleh FZ. Hepatitis B genotypes: relation to clinical outcome in patients with chronic hepatitis B in Saudi Arabia. World J Gastroenterol 2006;12:7019-24.DOIPubMedPMC
33. Amini-Bavil-Olyaee S, Sarrami-Forooshani R, Adeli A, Sabahi F, Abachi M, Azizi M, Mahboudi F. Complete genomic sequence and phylogenetic relatedness of hepatitis B virus isolates from Iran. J Med Virol 2005;76:318-26.DOIPubMed
34. Amini-Bavil-Olyaee S, Sarrami-Forooshani R, Mahboudi F, Sabahi F, Adeli A, Noorinayer B, Azizi M, Reza Zali M. Genotype characterization and phylogenetic analysis of hepatitis B virus isolates from Iranian patients. J Med Virol 2005;75:227-34.DOIPubMed
35. Pourshams A, Malekzadeh R, Monavvari A, Akbari MR, Mohamadkhani A, Yarahmadi S, Seddigghi N, Mohamadnejad M, Sotoudeh M, Madjlessi A. Prevalence and etiology of persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase levels in healthy Iranian blood donors. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005;20:229-33.DOIPubMed
36. Jahani MR, Motevalian SA, Mahmoodi M. Hepatitis B carriers in large vehicle drivers of Iran. Vaccine 2003;21:1948-51.DOI
37. Uzunalimoglu O, Yurdaydin C, Cetinkaya H, Bozkaya H, Sahin T, Colakoglu S, Tankurt E, Sarioglu M, ozenirler S, Akkiz H, Tozun N, Degertekin H, Okten A. Risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma in Turkey. Dig Dis Sci 2001;46:1022-8.DOIPubMed
38. Qirbi N, Hall AJ. Epidemiology of hepatitis B virus infection in the Middle East. East Mediterr Health J 2001;7:1034-45.PubMed
39. Allison RD, Teleb N, Al Awaidy S, Ashmony H, Alexander JP, Patel MK. Hepatitis B control among children in the Eastern Mediterranean region of the World Health Organization. Vaccine 2016;534:2403-9.DOIPubMed
40. Schweitzer A, Horn J, Mikolajczyk RT, Krause G, Ott JJ. Estimations of worldwide prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus infection: a systematic review of data published between 1965 and 2013. Lancet 2015;386:1546-55.DOI
41. Goldstein ST, Zhou F, Hadler SC, Bell BP, Mast EE, Margolis HS. A mathematical model to estimate global hepatitis B disease burden and vaccination impact. Int J Epidemiology 2005;34:1329-39.DOIPubMed
42. Alavian SM, Haghbin H. Relative importance of hepatitis B and C viruses in hepatocellular carcinoma in EMRO countries and the Middle East: a systematic review. Hepat Mon 2016;16:e35106.DOIPubMedPMC
43. Chang MH, You SL, Chen CJ, Liu CJ, Lee CM, Lin SM, Chu HC, Wu TC, Yang SS, Kuo HS, Chen DS. Decreased incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in hepatitis B vaccinees: a 20-year follow-up study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2009;101:1348-55.DOIPubMed
44. Mohd Hanafiah K, Groeger J, Flaxman AD, Wiersma ST. Global epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection: new estimates of age-specific antibody to HCV seroprevalence. Hepatology 2013;57:1333-42.DOIPubMed
45. Petruzziello A, Marigliano S, Loquercio G, Cozzolino A, Cacciapuoti C. Global epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection: An up-date of the distribution and circulation of hepatitis C virus genotypes. World J Gastroenterol 2016;22:7824-40.DOIPubMedPMC
46. Bruno S, Crosignani A, Maisonneuve P, Rossi S, Silini E, Mondelli MU. Hepatitis C virus genotype 1b as a major risk factor associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis: a seventeen-year prospective cohort study. Hepatology 2007;46:1350-6.DOIPubMed
47. Kanwal F, Kramer JR, Ilyas J, Duan Z, El-Serag H. HCV Genotype 3 is associated with an increased risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in a national samples of US Veterans with HCV. Hepatology 2014;60:98-105.DOIPubMedPMC
48. Petruzziello A, Samantha Marigliano S, Loquercio G, Coppola N, Piccirillo M, Leongito M, Azzaro R, Izzo F, Botti G. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) genotypes distribution among hepatocellular carcinoma patients in Southern Italy: a three year retrospective study. Infect Agent Cancer 2017;12:52.DOI
49. Bostan N, Mahmood T. An overview about hepatitis C: a devastating virus. Crit Rev Microbiol 2010;36:91-133.DOIPubMed
50. Raimondi S, Bruno S, Mondelli MU, Maisonneuve P. Hepatitis C virus genotype Ib is a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma development: a meta-analysis. J Hepatol 2009;50:1142-54.DOIPubMed
51. Lok AS, Seeff LB, Morgan TR, di Bisceglie AM, Sterling RK, Curto TM, Everson GT, Lindsay KL, Lee WM, Bonkovsky HL, Dienstag JL, Ghany MG, Morishima C, Goodman ZD. Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and associated risk factors in hepatitis C-related advanced liver disease. Gastroenterology 2009;136:138-48.DOIPubMedPMC
52. Mahale P, Torres HA, Kramer JR, Hwang LY, Li R, Brown LEL, Engels EA. Hepatitis C virus infection and the risk of cancer among elderly US adults: a registry-based case-control study. Cancer 2017;123:1202-11.DOIPubMed
53. The growing threats of hepatitis B and C in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: a call for action. Technical paper presented at the 56th Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, August 2009. Avaiable from: http://applications.emro.who.int/docs/EM_RC56_3_en.pdf. [Last accessed on 22 Jun 2018].
54. Mohamed MK, Bakr I, El-Hosiyny M, Arafa N, Hassan A, Ismail S, Anwar M, Attala M, Rekacewicz C, Zalata K, Abdel-Hamid M, Esmat G, Fontanet A. HCV-related morbidity in a rural community of Egypt. J Med Virol 2006;78:1185-9.DOIPubMed
55. El-Raziky, El-Hawary M, Esmat G, Abouzied AM, El-Koofy N, Mohsen N, Mansour S, Shaheen A, Abdel hamid M, El-Karaksy H. Prevalence and risk factors of asymptomatic hepatitis C virus infection in Egyptian children. World J of Gastroenterol 2007;13:1828-32.DOIPMC
56. El-Nanawy AA, el Azzouni OF, Soliman AT, Amer AE, Demian RS, el-Sayed HM. Prevalence of hepatitis-C antibody seropositivity in healthy Egyptian children and four high risk groups. J Trop Pediatrics 1995;41:341-3.DOIPubMed
57. Jafri W, Jafri N, Yakoob J, islam M, Tirmizi SF, Jafar T, Akhtar S, Hamid S, Shah HA, Nizami SQ. Hepatitis B and C: prevalence and risk factors associated with seropositivity among children in Karachi, Pakistan. BMC Infect Dis 2006;6:101.DOIPubMedPMC
58. Ramia S, Eid-Fares J. Distribution of hepatitis C virus genotypes in the Middle East. Int J Infect Dis 2006;10:272-7.DOIPubMed
59. Sievert W, Altraif I, Razavi HA, Abdo A, Ahmed EA, Alomair A, Amarapurkar D, Chen CH, Dou X, El Khayat H, Elshazly M, Esmat M, Guan R, Han KH, Koike K, Largen A, McCaughan G, Mogawer S, Monis A, Nawaz A, Piratvisuth T, Sanai FM, Sharara AI, Sibbel S, Sood A, Suh DJ, Wallace C, Young K, Negro F. A systematic review of hepatitis C virus epidemiology in Asia, Australia and Egypt. Liver Int 2011;31:61-80.DOIPubMed
60. Bdour S. Hepatitis C virus infection in Jordanian hemodialysis units: serological diagnosis and genotyping. J Med Microbiol 2002;51:700-4.DOIPubMed
61. Shemer-Avni Y, Astal Z, Kemper O, Najjar KJ, Yaari A, Hanuka N, Margalith M, Sikuler E. Hepatitis C virus infection and genotypes in Southern Israel and the Gaza Strip. J Med Virol 1998;56:230-3.DOI
62. Kabakçı Alagöz G, Karataylı SC, Karataylı E, Celik E, Keskin O, Dinç B, Cınar K, Idilman R, Yurdaydın C, Bozdayı AM. Hepatitis C virus genotype distribution in Turkey remains unchanged after a decade: performance of phylogenetic analysis of the NS5B, E1, and 5'UTR regions in genotyping efficiency. Turk J Gastroenterol 2014;25:405-10.DOIPubMed
63. Samimi-Rad K, Nategh R, Malekzadeh R, Norder H, Magnius L. Molecular epidemiology of hepatitis C virus in Iran is reflected by phylogenetic analysis of NS5B region. J Med Virol 2004;74:246-52.DOIPubMed
64. Webster DP, Klenerman P, Dusheiko GM. Hepatitis C. Lancet 2015;385:1124-35.DOI
65. Chung RT, Baumert TF. Curing chronic hepatitis C-the arc of a medical triumph. N Engl J Med 2014;370:1576-8.DOIPubMed
66. Edlin BR. Access to treatment for hepatitis C virus infection: time to put patients first. Lancet Infect Dis 2016;16:e196-201.DOI
67. Thomas DL. Global control of hepatitis C: where challenge meets opportunity. Nat Med 2013;9:850-8.DOIPubMedPMC
68. Denniston MM, Klevens RM, McQuillan GM, Jiles RB. Awareness of infection, knowledge of hepatitis C, and medical follow-up among individuals testing positive for hepatitis C: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2008. Hepatology 2012;55:1652-61.DOIPubMedPMC
69. Alazawi W, Cunningham M, Dearden J, Foster GR. Systematic review: outcome of compensated cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis C infection. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2010;32:344-55.DOIPubMed
70. Waked I, Doss W, El-Sayed M, Estes C, Razavi H, Shiha G, Yosry A, Esmat G. The current and future disease burden of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in Egypt. Arab J Gastroenterol 2014;15:45-52.DOIPubMed
71. Estes C, Abdel-Kareem M, Abdel-Razek W, Abdel-Samea E, Abuzeid M, Gomaa A, Osman W, Razavi H, Zaghla H, Waked I. Economic burden of hepatitis C in Egypt: the future impact of highly effective therapies. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2015;42:696-706.DOIPubMedPMC
72. Ziada DH, El Sadany S, Soliman H, Abd-Elsalam S, Salama M, Hawash N, Selim A, Hamisa M, Elsabagh HM. Prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis C patients in Mid Delta, Egypt: a single center study. J Egypt Natl Canc Inst 2016;28:257-62.DOIPubMed
73. Stroffolini T, Sagnelli E, Rapicetta M, Felaco FM, Filippini P, Annella T, Petruzziello A, Chionne P, Sarrecchia B, Piccinino F. Hepatitis B virus DNA in chronic HBsAg carriers: correlation with HBeAg/anti-HBe status, anti-HD and liver histology. Hepatogastroenterology 1992;39:62-5.PubMed
74. Sagnelli E, Felaco FM, Rapicetta M, Stroffolini T, Petruzziello A, Annella T, Chionne P, Pasquale G, Filippini P, Peinetti P. Interaction between HDV and HBV infection in HBsAg-chronic carriers. Infection 1991;19:155-8.DOIPubMed
75. Husa P, Linhartova A, Nemecek V, Husova L. Hepatitis D. Acta Virol 2005;49:219-25.PubMed
76. Değertekin H, Yalçin K, Yakut M. The prevalence of hepatitis delta virus infection in acute and chronic liver diseases in Turkey: an analysis of clinical studies. Turk J Gastroenterol 2006;17:25-34.PubMed
77. Toukan AU, Abu-el-Rub OA, Abu-Laban SA, Tarawneh MS, Kamal MF, Hadler SC, Krawczynski K, Margolis HS, Maynard JE. The epidemiology and clinical outcome of hepatitis D virus (delta) infection in Jordan. Hepatology 1987;7:1340-5.DOIPubMed
78. Fattovich G, Giustina G, Schalm SW, Hadziyannis S, Sanchez-Tapias J, Almasio P, Christensen E, Krogsgaard K, Degos F, Carneiro de Moura M. Occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma and decompensation in western European patients with cirrhosis type B. The EUROHEP Study Group on Hepatitis B Virus and Cirrhosis. Hepatology 1995;21:77-82.PubMed
79. Fattovich G, Giustina G, Christensen E, Pantalena M, Zagni I, Realdi G, Schalm SW. Influence of hepatitis delta virus infection on morbidity and mortality in compensated cirrhosis type B. The European Concerted Action on Viral Hepatitis (Eurohep). Gut 2000;46:420-6.DOIPubMedPMC
80. Abbas Z, Abbas M, Abbas S, Shazi L. Hepatitis D and hepatocellular carcinoma. World J Hepatol 2015;7:777-86.DOIPubMedPMC
81. Abbas Z, Khan MA, Salih M, Jafri W. Interferon alpha for chronic hepatitis D. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2011;(12):CD006002.DOI
82. Chang MH. Hepatitis B virus and cancer prevention. Recent Results Cancer Res 2011;188:75-84.DOIPubMed
Michela Emma Burlone et al., Hepatoma Research, 2020
Aldar S. Bourinbaiar et al., Hepatoma Research, 2020
Michihisa Moriguchi et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019
Sana Raza et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019
Rolf Teschke et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019
Ishan Garg et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019
Zahari Krastev et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019
Myron J. Tong et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019
Leonardo G. da Fonseca et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019
Bubu A. Banini et al., Hepatoma Research, 2019