Obesity and associated metabolic disorders have been implicated in liver carcinogenesis; however there is little data on the role of obesity-related biomarkers on liver cancer risk. We studied prospectively the association of inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers with risks of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), intra-hepatic bile duct (IBD) and gallbladder and bilary tract cancers outside of the liver (GBTC) in a nested case-control study within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Over an average of 7.7 years, 296 participants developed HCC (n=125), GBTC (n=137) or IBD (n=34). Using risk set sampling, controls were selected in a 2:1 ratio and matched for recruitment center, age, sex, fasting status, time of blood collection. Baseline serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-peptide, total, high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin, leptin, fetuin-a, and glutamatdehydrogenase (GLDH) were measured and incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI-s) estimated using conditional logistic regression. After adjustment for lifestyle factors, diabetes, hepatitis infection and adiposity measures, higher concentrations of CRP, IL-6, C-peptide and non-HMW adiponectin were associated with higher risk of HCC (IRR per doubling of concentrations = 1.22; 95%CI = 1.02-1.46, P=0.03; 1.90; 95%CI = 1.30-2.77, P=0.001; 2.25; 95%CI = 1.43-3.54, P=0.0005 and 2.09; 95%CI = 1.19-3.67, P=0.01, respectively). CRP was associated also with risk of GBTC (IRR = 1.22; 95%CI = 1.05-1.42, P=0.01). GLDH was associated with risks of HCC (IRR = 1.62; 95%CI = 1.25-2.11, P=0.0003) and IBD (IRR = 10.5; 95%CI = 2.20-50.90, P=0.003). The continuous net reclassification index was 0.63 for CRP, IL-6, C-peptide and non-HMW adiponectin, and 0.46 for GLDH indicating good predictive ability of these biomarkers. Conclusion: Elevated levels of biomarkers of inflammation and hyperinsulinemia are associated with a higher risk of HCC, independent of obesity and established liver cancer risk factors.
Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. Vol. 60, no 3, 858-871 p.
liver cancer, biomarkers, hepatocellular carcinoma, bile duct cancer, inflammation, hyperinsulinemia