In the U.S., Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence rates have increased. We aimed to determine whether environmental exposure plays a role in the high incidence of HCC observed in New York City. We conducted a hospital-based case only study to examine the prevalence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-albumin adducts and the distribution of adducts by different characteristics of HCC patients. Blood samples were collected from 155 HCC patients for biomarker analyses. We observed that about 46% and 49% of cases had detectable AFB1- and PAH-albumin adducts, respectively. There were significant differences between AFB1-albumin adducts and selected factors such as HCV infection status (p = 0.04), diabetes (p = 0.03) and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage (p = 0.02). Cases with detectable PAH-albumin adducts had a smoking history compared with those with nondetectable levels (p = 0.04). The level of AFB1-albumin adducts was positively correlated with plasma bilirubin (rs = 0.32, p < 0.0001) and adiponectin concentrations (rs = 0.28, p = 0.0005). The level of aflatoxin B1-albumin adducts was negatively associated with blood albumin concentration (rs = − 0.28, p = 0.0009) and plasma DNA LINE-1 methylation (rs = − 0.16, p = 0.04). Our study provides additional evidence that environmental exposures including to aflatoxin might drive the high incidence of HCC observed in the New York City.
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This work was supported by awards from the National Cancer Institute [R01ES005116 and P30 CA013696] and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [P30 ES009089]. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
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Wu, HC., Shen, J., Siegel, A. et al. Environmental exposure and clinical correlates of hepatocellular carcinoma in New York City: a case only study. Cancer Causes Control (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-021-01494-2
- Aflatoxin B1-albumin adduct
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- LINE-1 methylation
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon