Lay Summaries - Volume 68 Issue 6

Lay Summary: The origins of HBV are unclear. The new orthohepadnavirus species from Brazilian capuchin monkeys resembled HBV in elicited infection patterns and could infect human liver cells using the same receptor as HBV. Evolutionary analyses suggested that primate HBV-related viruses might have emerged in African ancestors of New World monkeys millions of years ago. HBV was associated with hominoid primates, including humans and apes, suggesting evolutionary origins of HBV before the formation of modern humans. HBV genotypes found in American natives were divergent from those found in American monkeys, and likely introduced along prehistoric human migration. Our results elucidate the evolutionary origins and dispersal of primate HBV, identify a new orthohepadnavirus reservoir, and enable new perspectives for animal models of hepatitis B.
Lay Summary: There is a lack of data regarding treatment of immune-tolerant chronic hepatitis B (CHB). It remains unresolved how children with immune-tolerant CHB should be treated. This paper reports the outcomes from a pilot open-label randomized controlled trial on antiviral therapy in children with immune-tolerant characteristics. It shows that a sequential combination of interferon-a and lamivudine was beneficial.
Lay Summary: Caucasian patients with chronic hepatitis B with or without compensated cirrhosis who receive long-term entecavir or tenofovir therapy have excellent overall eight-year survival, which is similar to that of the general population. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the main factor affecting their overall mortality, and is the only factor affecting liver-related mortality in this setting.
Lay Summary: In patients with liver failure, disturbances in brain function are caused in part by ammonium toxicity. In our project we studied how ammonia, through adenosine release, affects the blood flow in the brain of rats. In our experimental model we demonstrated that the detrimental effect of ammonia on blood flow regulation was counteracted by blocking the adenosine receptors in the brain. With this observation we identified a novel potential treatment target. If we can confirm our findings in a future clinical study, this might help patients with liver failure and the severe condition called hepatic encephalopathy.
Lay Summary: High-risk radiological findings on preoperative hepatobiliary magnetic resonance imaging (either one of the following features: satellite nodule and peritumoural hypointensity on hepatobiliary phase) were associated with a higher tumour recurrence rate in patients transplanted either within or outside the Milan criteria.
Lay Summary: Despite hypothetical immunological concerns that the desensitization protocol for breaking through the ABO blood group barrier might have a negative impact on the recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma, our experience demonstrated no significant differences in the long-term overall survival and recurrence-free survival rates between patients receiving ABO-compatible or ABO-incompatible liver transplantation. In conclusion, results from our institution indicated that ABO-incompatible living-donor liver transplantation constitutes a potentially feasible option for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, especially those with compensated cirrhosis with hepatocellular carcinoma within conventional Milan criteria.
Lay Summary: There is a need for transarterial regimens that improve the responses and survival of patients with unresectable HCC. In this phase I trial, we showed that two sessions of treatment with a transarterial idarubicin_lipiodol emulsion without embolisation was well tolerated and gave promising efficacy in terms of tumour control and patient survival.
Lay Summary: Outcomes of patients treated for intermediate-sized hepatocellular carcinoma by surgical resection or no-touch multibipolar radiofrequency ablation were compared. No-touch multibipolar radiofrequency ablation was associated with a lower overall morbidity and a higher rate of systematized recurrence within the treated segment or in an adjacent segment within a 2?cm distance from the initial tumor site. Most patients with intrahepatic recurrence remained eligible for rescue curative therapy, enabling them to achieve similar long-term oncological results after both treatments.
Lay Summary: Immunotherapy for metastatic cancer can be complicated by immune-related adverse events in the liver. In patients receiving immunotherapy for metastatic cancer who develop immune-mediated hepatitis, liver biopsy is helpful for the diagnosis and evaluation of the severity of liver injury. This study demonstrates the need for patient-oriented management, which could eventually avoid unnecessary systemic corticosteroid treatment.
Lay Summary: O-GlcNAcylation of ribosomal receptor for activated C-kinase 1 at the amino acid serine122 promotes its stability, ribosome localization and interaction with the protein kinase, PKCßII, thus driving the translation of oncogenes and tumorigenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Increased O-GlcNAcylation of ribosomal receptor for activated C-kinase 1 is positively correlated with tumor growth, metastasis and recurrence in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma
Lay Summary: Liver cancer has a poor prognosis. Defining the molecular pathways involved is important for developing new therapeutic approaches. The Wnt/ß-catenin pathway is the most frequently deregulated pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Mutations of AXIN1, a member of this pathway, represent about 10% of HCC mutations. Using both human HCC collections and engineered mouse models of liver cancers with AXIN1 mutation or deletion, we defined a common signature of liver tumors mutated for AXIN1 and demonstrate that these tumors occur independently of the activation of the Wnt/ß-catenin pathway.
Lay Summary: Herein, we studied the role of cSMARCA5, a circular RNA, in hepatocellular carcinoma. Our in vitro and in vivo data showed that cSMARCA5 inhibits the growth and migration of hepatocellular carcinoma cells, making it a potential therapeutic target.
Lay Summary: Herein, we report that therapeutic inhibition of a cell receptor expressed by bile duct cancer cells resulted in the loss of a critical survival protein termed MCL1. Cellular depletion of MCL1 resulted in the death of the cancer cells by a process characterised by cell rupture. Cell death by this process can stimulate the immune system and has implications for combination therapy using receptor inhibition with immunotherapy
Lay Summary: High red and processed meat consumption is related to several diseases. In addition, cooking meat at high temperatures for a long duration forms heterocyclic amines, which have harmful health effects. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a significant public health burden and its formation is strongly related to insulin resistance. In this study, both were found to be more frequent in people who consume relatively high quantities of red and processed meat. In addition, a high intake of heterocyclic amines was associated with insulin resistance
Lay Summary: Our clinical study suggests a negative association between prolactin (PRL)/prolactin receptor (PRLR) and the presence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Using cell experiments, we found that PRL ameliorates hepatic steatosis via the hepatic PRLR and fatty acid translocase (FAT)/CD36, a key transporter of free fatty acid uptake in liver. Our findings suggest a novel approach to improving NAFLD using PRL and PRLR