To elucidate the genetic alterations that are specific to Thorotrast-induced liver cancers and their possible roles in tumorigenesis, we analyzed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 37 loci. Our previous study of liver cancers that were not associated with Thorotrast found LOH at 9 of these loci to be characteristic of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), at 19 to be characteristic of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and at 9 to be common to both ICC and HCC. LOH analysis was also performed in tissues of cholangiolocellular carcinoma, which is thought to originate from a common stem cell progenitor of hepatocytes and bile duct epithelial cells. We found frequent LOH at D4S1538, D16S2624 and D17S1303 to be common to all the subtypes of liver cancers, independent of the specific carcinogenic agent. In contrast, LOH at D4S1652 generally was not observed in Thorotrast-induced ICC. LOH analysis revealed that Thorotrast-induced ICC shares some LOH features with both ICC and HCC that were not induced by Thorotrast; however, it is more similar to ICC than to HCC in terms of genetic changes. This study could narrow down the crucial chromosomal loci whose deletions are relevant to hepatobiliary carcinogenesis irrespective of the carcinogenic agent. The study of LOH at loci other the those crucial ones may help us understand how the phenotype of liver cancers is determined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging