Background: Males have a higher prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than females in general, but the reasons for the sex disparity are still obscure. DNA copy number alteration (CNA) is a major feature of solid tumors including HCC, but whether CNA plays a role in sex-related differences in HCC development has never been evaluated. Methods: High-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) was used to examine 17 female and 46 male HCC patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Shanghai, China. Two-tailed Fisher's exact or χ2 tests was used to compare CNAs between females and males. Results: The overall frequencies and patterns of CNAs in female and male cases were similar. However, female HCC tumors presented more copy number gains compared to those in males on 1q21.3-q22 (76.5% vs. 37.0%, P = 0.009), 11q11 (35.3% vs. 0.0%, P = 0.0002) and 19q13.31-q13.32 (23.5% vs. 0.0%, P = 0.004), and loss on 16p11.2 (35.3% vs. 6.5%, P = 0.009). Relative to females, male cases had greater copy number loss on 11q11 (63.0% vs. 17.6%, P = 0.002). Further analyses showed that 11q11 gain correlated with 19q13.31-q13.32 gain (P = 0.042), 11q11 loss (P = 0.011) and 16p11.2 loss (P = 0.033), while 1q21.3-q22 gain correlated with 19q13.31-q13.32 gain (P = 0.046). Conclusions: These findings suggest that CNAs may play a role in sex-related differences in HBV-associated HCC development.
- Array comparative genomic hybridization
- Copy number alteration
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cancer Research