Polymorphisms near the IFNL3 Gene Associated with HCV RNA Spontaneous Clearance and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk

Mei Hsuan Lee*, Hwai I. Yang, Sheng Nan Lu, Yu Ju Lin, Chin Lan Jen, Kang Hsuan Wong, Soa Yu Chan, Liang Chun Chen, Li Yu Wang, Gilbert L'Italien, Yong Yuan, Chien Jen Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

28 Scopus citations


The aims of this study were to investigate associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the genes IFNL2, IFNL3, and IFNL4 and spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and to evaluate variants for their risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among subjects in whom spontaneous HCV RNA clearance did not occur. In the first study, 889 untreated anti-HCV-seropositive patients without HCC symptoms were followed from 1991 to 2005. The spontaneous HCV clearance rate was found to be 33.1%. The TT variant of rs8099917 near IFNL3 was associated with increased spontaneous HCV RNA clearance, with an adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) of 2.78 (1.43-5.39), as was the newly-identified TT/TT dinucleotide variant rs368234815 near IFNL4 (adjusted odds ratio 2.68, 95% CI: 1.42-5.05). In the second study, associations between SNPs and HCC risk were examined in 483 HCC cases with detectable HCV RNA and 516 controls. In participants with HCV genotype 1, unfavorable genotypes for HCV clearance near IFNL3were associated with increased HCC risk, the adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for rs12979860 and rs8099917 being 1.73 (1.00-2.99) and 1.84 (1.02-3.33), respectively. Host characteristics should be considered to identify high-risk patients to prioritize the use of new antiviral agents and intensive screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17030
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 25 11 2015
Externally publishedYes

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