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Evaluation of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) as risk biomarkers for hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis C

Grant number: 22/03825-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): June 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal Investigator:Adriana Camargo Ferrasi
Grantee:Letícia Toloto da Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FMB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer, and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The treatments with the greatest curative potential are surgical resection and liver transplantation, however, the survival expectancy is limited due to the late and complex diagnosis. The diagnosis is currently made by the presence of an imaging test with a typical lesion and an increase in serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) tumor marker. It is estimated that about 70-80%, in Western countries, of cases of HCC development are correlated with chronic infection by the virus B (HBV) or C (HCV). Chronic HCV infection promotes disease progression starting with inflammation, chronic liver damage, fibrosis, dysplasia, and cirrhosis. Brazil is classified as a country with intermediate endemicity for Hepatitis C infection, making it a considerable public health problem. Several lncRNAs have been observed with activities during cancer development, being closely related to microenvironment remodeling and tumor metastasis, indicating their potential for treatment, diagnosis or as a prognostic indicator in cancer. Recently, in our research group, using the next generation sequencing technique (NGS) based on the Illumina methodology, pathological tissues (fibrosis (grades I to IV) and carcinoma) were compared to normal liver tissue, and thus, 34 lncRNAs differentially expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma, thus evidencing an association of the gene transcription profile with the carcinogenic process and leading to the hypothesis that some of these lncRNAs could be good risk markers for carcinoma in patients with advanced chronic Hepatitis C. Based on this scenario, the main objective of the present study will be to validate two of the 34 lncRNAs already identified with differential expression and to evaluate them as potential high-risk biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma in plasma from patients with Hepatitis C advanced.(AU)

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