A few studies have indicated inverse relationships between serum ghrelin and gastric and esophageal cancers but those associations have been restricted to specific populations, including smokers and overweight individuals. We examined the association between ghrelin and gastroesophageal cancers and atrophic gastritis in a population-based setting.
In total 220 gastroesophageal cancers, comprising non-cardia and cardia gastric cancer, esophageal adenocarcinoma, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and age and gender-matched controls were recruited. Serum ghrelin, pepsinogen I/II ratio (PGI/II) and anti-H.pylori IgG antibodies were measured. Relationships between ghrelin and gastroesophageal cancers, after adjustment for PGI/II ratio, H.pylori status and smoking, were tested using logistic regression. Furthermore, in 125 endoscopically normal volunteers, with and without histological atrophic gastritis, the relationship with ghrelin was compared.
Serum ghrelin (lowest vs. highest quintile) was inversely associated with gastric cancer: OR (95% CI) 8.71 (1.70–44.59) for cardia and 6.58 (1.26–34.46) for non-cardia cancer. Lower serum ghrelin was also associated with esophageal SCC: OR (95% CI) 5.69 (1.36–23.78), but not with esophageal adenocarcinoma. A similar association was observed between gastric cancer (cardia and non-cardia) and esophageal SCC when serum ghrelin was analysed as a continuous scaled variable. In endoscopically-normal volunteers, extensive atrophic gastritis was associated with low serum ghrelin [OR (95% CI) 0.25 (0.10–0.64)].
Inverse associations between ghrelin and some gastroesophageal cancers suggest a potential role for serum ghrelin as a biomarker of upper gastrointestinal cancers and atrophic gastritis. In areas with a high incidence of gastric and/or esophageal cancer, screening might be more effectively targeted to individuals with low serum ghrelin in addition to the PGI/II ratio.
Immunomodulators and Nucleotide analogues have been used globally for the dealing of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, the development of drug resistance is a major limitation to their long-term effectiveness.
The aim of this study was to characterize the hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase (RT) protein variations among Iranian chronic HBV carriers who did not receive any antiviral treatments.
Materials and Methods
Hepatitis B virus partial RT genes from 325 chronic in active carrier patients were amplified and directly sequenced. Nucleotide/amino acid substitutions were identified compared to the sequences obtained from the database.
All strains belonging to genotype D.365 amino-acid substitutions were found. Mutations related to lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine, and entecavir occurred in (YMDD) 4% (n = 13), (SVQ) 17.23% (n = 56), (M204I/V + L180M) 2.45% (n = 8) and (M204I) 2.76% (n = 9) of patients, respectively.
RT mutants do occur naturally and could be found in HBV carriers who have never received antiviral therapy. However, mutations related to drug resistance in Iranian treatment-naïve chronic HBV patients were found to be higher than other studies published formerly. Chronic HBV patients should be monitored closely prior the commencement of therapy to achieve the best regimen option.
Therapy; Drug-Resistance; Hepatitis B Virus; Iran
The role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the causation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is unclear. We examined the associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and 28 centrally measured HPV serological markers in serum from six existing case–control studies conducted in regions with differing background risks of esophageal cancer.
We used centralized multiplex serology to test serum samples from 1561 case subjects and 2502 control subjects from six case–control studies for antibodies to the major HPV capsid protein (L1) and/or the early proteins E6 and/or E7 of eight high-risk, two low-risk, and four cutaneous HPV types. Study-specific odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression with adjustment for smoking, alcohol consumption, and other potential confounders. Pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using either a linear mixed-effects approach or a joint fixed-effects approach. All statistical tests were two-sided.
We found statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and antibodies to E6 for HPV16 (OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.09 to 3.29, P = .023) and HPV6 (OR = 2.53, 95% CI = 1.51 to 4.25, P < .001) but not for other tested HPV types. There were no statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and antibodies to E7 for any of the tested HPV types. Simultaneous seropositivity for HPV16 E6 and E7 was rare (four case subjects, two control subjects; OR = 5.57, 95% CI = 0.90 to 34.35; P = .064). We also found statistically significant associations between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and capsid antibodies for the high-risk mucosal type HPV33 L1 (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.69; P = .047) and the low-risk mucosal types HPV6 (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.05 to 1.42; P = .010) and HPV11 (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.09 to 1.56, P = .0036).
We found limited serological evidence of an association between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and HPV in the populations studied. Although HPV does not appear to be an important risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, we cannot exclude the possibility that certain HPV types may be involved in a small subset of cancers.
We briefly reviewed the evidence on the association of hepatitis C (HCV) infection with several aspects of mental and psychosocial health.
Medline was searched with appropriate keywords. The primary sources were the systematic reviews. If systematic reviews were not available for a subject, then the most relevant and methodologically sound original studies were selected.
HCV infection is associated with poorer health-related quality of life, and physical, mental, and social health. A part of impaired health of these patients is related to cirrhosis, intravenous drug use, co morbid psychiatric disorders, stigmatization, poor social support, alcohol abuse, and interferon treatment. However, HCV itself is also associated with poorer health status particularly in the physical and cognitive domains, which might be related to brain alterations induced by the virus. Interferon treatment is an important cause of depression in HCV patients and sometimes is associated with irritability, manic episode, or acute confusional state. Social health of HCV patients is significantly impaired by stigmatization, poor social support, psychiatric comorbidties, and impaired coping. Psychosocial impairment of HCV patients significantly impairs their treatment adherence. A supportive and nonjudgmental multidisciplinary team is required for optimal management of these patients.
Patients with HCV infection had complex neuropsychiatric and psychosocial problems. These problems are challenges for management of HCV infection, affect the patient’s care significantly, and might alter the course of the disease. A multidisciplinary approach, a supportive environment, and a nonjudgmental healthcare team are required for optimal medical and psychosocial management of patients with HCV.
Anxiety; Depression; Fatigue; Hepatitis C; Mental Health; Neurobehavioral Manifestations; Social Stigma
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) shows geographic variations in incidence, with high incidences (>50/105 person-years) in central Asia, including North Eastern Iran (Golestan) and Northern India (Kashmir). In contrast to Western countries, smoking does not appear to be a significant risk factor for ESCC in central Asia. In lung adenocarcinoma, activating mutations in the gene encoding epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are frequent in tumors of never smokers of Asian origin, predicting therapeutic sensitivity to Egfr-targeting drugs.
In this study 152 cases of histologically confirmed ESCC from Iran (Tehran and Golestan Province) and North India (Kashmir Valley) have been analyzed for EGFR mutation by direct sequencing of exons 18–21. Egfr protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 34 samples from Tehran and HER2 mutations were analyzed in 54 cases from Kashmir.
A total of 14 (9.2%) EGFR variations were detected, including seven variations in exons. Among those, four (2.6%) were already documented in lung cancers, two were reported as polymorphisms and one was a potentially new activating mutation. All but one variation in introns were previously identified as polymorphisms. Over-expression of Egfr was detected in 22/34 (65%) of tested cases whereas no HER2 mutation was found in 54 cases from Kashmir.
Overall, EGFR mutations appear to be a rare event in ESCC in high incidence areas of central Asia, although a very small proportion of cases may harbor mutations predicting sensitivity to anti-Egfr drugs.
Squamous cell carcinoma; Esophagus; EGFR mutations; Golestan; Kashmir
microRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of non-coding RNAs involved in regulating
various biological processes including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis,
among others. Alterations in miRNA expression are reported in several human cancers,
which suggests their potential roles in tumor initiation and progression. Members of the
miR-302 cluster are highly expressed in embryonic stem cells (ESC), where they regulate
cell self-renewal and pluripotency. Based on the cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis,
mis-expression of such genes might contribute to tumorigenicity. This study aims to find a
potential link between the expression level of human/homo sapiens miR-302b (has-miR-
302b) and tumor/grade state of gastric tissues.
Materials and Methods:
A matched based case-control study was conducted that included
tumor and matched marginal non-tumor surgical specimens from 34 patients diagnosed
with gastric adenocarcinoma. Randomly selected samples were obtained from
the Iran National Tumor Bank. cDNA synthesis was carried out on total RNA, by using
the miRCURY LNATM Universal RT microRNA PCR Kit. Real-time reverse transcriptionpolymerase
chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays were performed with specific LNATM primers
and SYBR Green master mix. The human embryonic carcinoma cell line, NTERA2 (NT2)
and a human gastric adenocarcinoma cell line, AGS, were used to optimize the PCR reactions.
A comparative evaluation of miR-302b expression in tumor and non-tumor gastric
samples was performed by either paired t test or Wilcoxon non-parametric test. The ability
of miR-302b to discriminate tumor from non-tumor gastric samples was evaluated using
the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.
According to our data, miR-302b expression (normalized to that of the U6 snRNA
housekeeping gene) in the pluripotent cell line NT2 was more than 500 times greater than
that of the AGS cell line. The level of expression was even lower in tumor and non-tumor
gastric tissue samples. The data further revealed a down-regulation of miR-302b in gastric
tumor samples (p=0.001), particularly in high-grade adenocarcinoma (p=0.009). However,
ROC analysis data demonstrated a low sensitivity and specificity of miR-302b expression
to discriminate between the tumor and non-tumor state of the samples (AUC=0.63).
Despite the upregulation of some hESC-specific genes in tumors, our data
revealed a down-regulation of miR-302b in high-grade tumors. This data suggested a potential
tumor-suppressor role for miR-302b in tumorigenesis of gastric tissue.
Cancer Stem Cells; MicroRNA; MiR-302b; Gastric Cancer
To evaluate the association of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure in esophageal epithelial tissue and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) case status in an ESCC case-control study in a high-risk population in northeastern Iran.
Immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarrays (TMAs) of non-tumoral esophageal biopsies from ESCC cases and control subjects. Immunohistochemistry was performed using monoclonal antibodies 8E11 and 5D11, raised against benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) diol epoxide (BPDE)-I-modified guanosine and BPDE-I-modified DNA, respectively. Staining intensity was quantified by image analysis, and the average staining in three replicates was calculated.
Rural region in northeastern Iran.
Cases were patients with biopsy-proven ESCC. Controls were GI clinic patients with no endoscopic or biopsy evidence of ESCC.
Main outcome measure
Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the association between antibody staining intensity and ESCC case status.
Cultured ESCC cells exposed to B[a]P in vitro showed dose-dependent staining with 8E11, but not with 5D11. With 8E11, sufficient epithelial tissue was available in the TMA cores to analyze 91 cases and 103 controls. Compared to the lowest quintile of 8E11 staining in the controls, adjusted ORs (95% CIs) for the 2nd to 5th quintiles were 2.42, 5.77, 11.3, and 26.6 (5.21–135), respectively (P for trend < 0.001). With 5D11, 89 cases and 101 controls were analyzed. No association between staining and case status was observed (ORs (95% CIs) for the 2nd to 5th quintiles were 1.26, 0.88, 1.06, and 1.63 (0.63–4.21), P for trend = 0.40).
Dramatically higher levels of 8E11 staining were observed in non-tumoral esophageal epithelium from ESCC patients than from control subjects. This finding strengthens the evidence for a causal role for PAHs in esophageal carcinogenesis in northeastern Iran.
esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; immunohistochemistry; tissue microarray
We investigated whether using demographic characteristics and alarm symptoms can accurately predict cancer in patients with dyspepsia in Iran, where upper GI cancers and H. pylori infection are common.
All consecutive patients referred to a tertiary gastroenterology clinic in Tehran, Iran, from 2002 to 2009 were invited to participate in this study. Each patient completed a standard questionnaire and underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Alarm symptoms included in the questionnaire were weight loss, dysphagia, GI bleeding, and persistent vomiting. We used logistic regression models to estimate the diagnostic value of each variable in combination with other ones, and to develop a risk-prediction model.
A total of 2,847 patients with dyspepsia participated in this study, of whom 87 (3.1%) had upper GI malignancy. Patients reporting at least one of the alarm symptoms constituted 66.7% of cancer patients compared to 38.9% in patients without cancer (p<0.001). Esophageal or gastric cancers in patients with dyspepsia was associated with older age, being male, and symptoms of weight loss and vomiting. Each single predictor had low sensitivity and specificity. Using a combination of age, alarm symptoms, and smoking, we built a risk-prediction model that distinguished between high-risk and low-risk individuals with an area under the ROC curve of 0.85 and acceptable calibration.
None of the predictors demonstrated high diagnostic accuracy. While our risk-prediction model had reasonable accuracy, some cancer cases would have remained undiagnosed. Therefore, where available, low cost endoscopy may be preferable for dyspeptic older patient or those with history of weight loss.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with lifestyle factors that affect insulin/IGF signaling, of which the insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) is a key transducer. We investigated expression, localization and pathologic correlations of IRS1 in cancer-uninvolved colonic epithelium, primary CRCs with paired liver metastases and in vitro polarizing Caco2 and HT29 cells. IRS1 mRNA and protein resulted higher, relative to paired mucosa, in adenomas of familial adenomatous polyposis patients and in CRCs that overexpressed c-MYC, ß-catenin, InsRß, and IGF1R. Analysis of IRS1 immunostaining in 24 cases of primary CRC with paired colonic epithelium and hepatic metastasis showed that staining intensity was significantly higher in metastases relative to both primary CRC (P<0.01) and colonic epithelium (P<0.01). Primary and metastatic CRCs, compared to colonic epithelium, contained significantly higher numbers of IRS1-positive cells (P = 0.013 and P = 0.014, respectively). Pathologic correlations in 163 primary CRCs revealed that diffuse IRS1 staining was associated with tumors combining differentiated phenotype and aggressive markers (high Ki67, p53, and ß-catenin). In Caco 2 IRS1 and InsR were maximally expressed after polarization, while IGF1R was highest in pre-polarized cells. No nuclear IRS1 was detected, while, with polarization, phosphorylated IRS1 (pIRS1) shifted from the lateral to the apical plasma membrane and was expressed in surface cells only. In HT29, that carry mutations constitutively activating survival signaling, IRS1 and IGF1R decreased with polarization, while pIRS1 localized in nuclear spots throughout the course. Overall, these data provide evidence that IRS1 is modulated according to CRC differentiation, and support a role of IRS1 in CRC progression and liver metastatization.
Identifying people at higher risk of having squamous dysplasia, the precursor lesion for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), would allow targeted endoscopic screening.
We used multivariate logistic regression models to predict ESCC and dysplasia as outcomes. The ESCC model was based on data from the Golestan Case-Control Study (total n=871; cases=300), and the dysplasia model was based on data from a cohort of subjects from a GI clinic in Northeast Iran (total n=724; cases=26). In each of these analyses, we fit a model including all risk factors known in this region to be associated with ESCC. Individual risks were calculated using the linear combination of estimated regression coefficients and individual-specific values for covariates. We used cross-validation to determine the area under the curve (AUC) and to find the optimal cut points for each of the models.
The model had an area under the curve of 0.77 (95% CI: 0.74–0.80) to predict ESCC with 74% sensitivity and 70.4% specificity for the optimum cut point. The area under the curve was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.64–0.79) for dysplasia diagnosis, and the classification table optimized at 61.5% sensitivity and 69.5% specificity. In this population, the positive and negative predictive values for diagnosis of dysplasia were 6.8% and 97.8%, respectively.
Our models were able to discriminate between ESCC cases and controls in about 77%, and between individuals with and without squamous dysplasia in about 70% of the cases. Using risk factors to predict individual risk of ESCC or squamous dysplasia still has limited application in clinical practice, but such models may be suitable for selecting high risk individuals in research studies, or increasing the pretest probability for other screening strategies.
Control selection is a major challenge in epidemiologic case-control studies. The aim of our study was to evaluate using hospital versus neighborhood control groups in studying risk factors of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
We compared the results of two different case-control studies of ESCC conducted in the same region by a single research group. Case definition and enrollment were the same in the two studies, but control selection differed. In the first study, we selected two age- and sex-matched controls from inpatient subjects in hospitals, while for the second we selected two age- and sex-matched controls from each subject's neighborhood of residence. We used the test of heterogeneity to compare the results of the two studies. We found no significant differences in exposure data for tobacco-related variables such as cigarette smoking, chewing Nass (a tobacco product) and hookah (water pipe) usage, but the frequency of opium usage was significantly different between hospital and neighborhood controls. Consequently, the inference drawn for the association between ESCC and tobacco use did not differ between the studies, but it did for opium use. In the study using neighborhood controls, opium use was associated with a significantly increased risk of ESCC (adjusted OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.17–2.68), while in the study using hospital controls, this was not the case (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.63–1.87). Comparing the prevalence of opium consumption in the two control groups and a cohort enrolled from the same geographic area suggested that the neighborhood controls were more representative of the study base population for this exposure.
Hospital and neighborhood controls did not lead us to the same conclusion for a major hypothesized risk factor for ESCC in this population. Our results show that control group selection is critical in drawing appropriate conclusions in observational studies.
Objective To investigate the association between tea drinking habits in Golestan province, northern Iran, and risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Design Population based case-control study. In addition, patterns of tea drinking and temperature at which tea was drunk were measured among healthy participants in a cohort study.
Setting Golestan province, northern Iran, an area with a high incidence of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Participants 300 histologically proved cases of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and 571 matched neighbourhood controls in the case-control study and 48 582 participants in the cohort study.
Main outcome measure Odds ratio of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma associated with drinking hot tea.
Results Nearly all (98%) of the cohort participants drank black tea regularly, with a mean volume consumed of over one litre a day. 39.0% of participants drank their tea at temperatures less than 60°C, 38.9% at 60-64°C, and 22.0% at 65°C or higher. A moderate agreement was found between reported tea drinking temperature and actual temperature measurements (weighted κ 0.49). The results of the case-control study showed that compared with drinking lukewarm or warm tea, drinking hot tea (odds ratio 2.07, 95% confidence interval 1.28 to 3.35) or very hot tea (8.16, 3.93 to 16.9) was associated with an increased risk of oesophageal cancer. Likewise, compared with drinking tea four or more minutes after being poured, drinking tea 2-3 minutes after pouring (2.49, 1.62 to 3.83) or less than two minutes after pouring (5.41, 2.63 to 11.1) was associated with a significantly increased risk. A strong agreement was found between responses to the questions on temperature at which tea was drunk and interval from tea being poured to being drunk (weighted κ 0.68).
Conclusion Drinking hot tea, a habit common in Golestan province, was strongly associated with a higher risk of oesophageal cancer.
There is limited data on the natural history of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and on the long-term follow-up of AIH patients who have been referred for regular medical attention.
We evaluated the clinical presentation and natural history of AIH in a large cohort of type I AIH patients from Iran.
Patients and Methods
Between 1997 and 2008, 102 patients were enrolled in the study. Patients were diagnosed using the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group criteria and were followed up for an average of 60 months. Clinical and biochemical data were gathered from all the patients at both the beginning and the end of the follow-up period. Liver biopsy was performed in all patients before treatment, and the biopsies were performed in 28 patients after treatment.
Biochemical remission was achieved by 80 (79.4%) patients. Of these, 53 (66.5%) showed near-normal liver histology or liver function test results and sonogram. The remaining 27 (33.5%) patients also achieved clinical and biochemical remission, but developed compensated cirrhosis. After a period of remission, 24 patients (32.5%) relapsed. Among the 22 (21.6%) patients who showed ultimate treatment failure, 6 underwent orthotopic liver transplantation and 3 died of liver failure while awaiting a transplant. Sixteen (72.7%) of the 22 patients who did not respond to therapy were non-compliant with medications and had irregular follow-up. The overall 10-year survival rate in the cohort was 96%.
Long-term survival in AIH patients is very good. Prompt diagnosis and appropriate first-line and salvage therapy that includes close follow-up will make liver transplantation a rare necessity in the treatment of this disease.
Hepatitis; Autoimmune; Natural History; Liver Cirrhosis; Hepatitis, Chronic; Iran
Studies have suggested a possible role of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the etiology of esophageal cancer in Golestan Province, Iran, where incidence of this cancer is very high. In order to investigate the patterns of non-smoking related exposure to PAHs in Golestan, we conducted a cross-sectional study collecting questionnaire data, genotyping polymorphisms related to PAH metabolism, and measuring levels of 1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide (1-OHPG), a PAH metabolite, in urine samples collected in two seasons from the same group of 111 randomly selected never-smoking women. Beta-coefficients for correlations between 1-OHPG as dependent variable and other variables were calculated using linear regression models. The creatinine-adjusted 1-OHPG levels in both winter and summer samples were approximately 110 μmol/molCr (P for seasonal difference = 0.40). In winter, red meat intake (β = 0.208; P = 0.03), processed meat intake (β = 0.218; P = 0.02), and GSTT1-02 polymorphism (“null” genotype: β = 0.228; P = 0.02) showed associations with 1-OHPG levels, while CYP1B1-07 polymorphism (GG versus AA + GA genotypes: β = –0.256; P = 0.008) showed an inverse association. In summer, making bread at home (> weekly versus never: β = 0.203; P = 0.04), second-hand smoke (exposure to ≥3 cigarettes versus no exposure: β = 0.254; P = 0.01), and GSTM1-02 “null” genotype (β = 0.198; P = 0.04) showed associations with 1-OHPG levels, but GSTP1-02 polymorphism (CT + TT versus CC: β = –0.218; P = 0.03) showed an inverse association. This study confirms high exposure of the general population in Golestan to PAHs and suggests that certain foods, cooking methods, and genetic polymorphisms increase exposure to PAHs.
1-hydroxypyrene glucuronide; esophageal cancer; frying; red meat; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; polymorphism
Golestan Province in northeastern Iran has one of the highest incidences of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in the world with rates over 50 per 100,000 person-years in both sexes. We have analyzed TP53 mutation patterns in tumors from this high-risk geographic area in search of clues to the mutagenic processes involved in causing ESCC.
Biopsies of 119 confirmed ESCC tumor tissue from subjects enrolled in a case-control study conducted in Golestan Province were analyzed by direct sequencing of TP53 exons 2 through 11. Immunohistochemical staining for p53 was carried out using two monoclonal antibodies, DO7 and 1801. A total of 120 TP53 mutations were detected in 107/119 cases (89.9%), including 11 patients with double or triple mutations. The mutation pattern was heterogeneous with infrequent mutations at common TP53 “hotspots” but frequent transversions potentially attributable to environmental carcinogens forming bulky DNA adducts, including 40% at bases known as site of mutagenesis by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Mutations showed different patterns according to the reported temperature of tea consumption, but no variation was observed in relation to ethnicity, tobacco or opium use, and alcoholic beverage consumption or urban versus rural residence.
ESCC tumors in people from Golestan Province show the highest rate of TP53 mutations ever reported in any cancer anywhere. The heterogeneous mutation pattern is highly suggestive of a causative role for multiple environmental carcinogens, including PAHs. The temperature and composition of tea may also influence mutagenesis.
To establish optimal cutoff values for serologic diagnosis of fundic atrophy in a high-risk area for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and gastric cancer with high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in Northern Iran, we performed an endoscopy-room-based validation study.
We measured serum pepsinogens I (PGI) and II (PGII), gastrin 17 (G-17), and antibodies against whole H. pylori, or cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) antigen among 309 consecutive patients in two major endoscopy clinics in northeastern Iran. Updated Sydney System was used as histology gold standard. Areas under curves (AUCs), optimal cutoff and predictive values were calculated for serum biomarkers against the histology.
309 persons were recruited (mean age: 63.5 years old, 59.5% female). 84.5% were H. pylori positive and 77.5% were CagA positive. 21 fundic atrophy and 101 nonatrophic pangastritis were diagnosed. The best cutoff values in fundic atrophy assessment were calculated at PGI<56 µg/l (sensitivity: 61.9%, specificity: 94.8%) and PGI/PGII ratio<5 (sensitivity: 75.0%, specificity: 91.0%). A serum G-17<2.6 pmol/l or G-17>40 pmol/l was 81% sensitive and 73.3% specific for diagnosing fundic atrophy. At cutoff concentration of 11.8 µg/l, PGII showed 84.2% sensitivity and 45.4% specificity to distinguish nonatrophic pangastritis. Exclusion of nonatrophic pangastritis enhanced diagnostic ability of PGI/PGII ratio (from AUC = 0.66 to 0.90) but did not affect AUC of PGI. After restricting study samples to those with PGII<11.8, the sensitivity of using PGI<56 to define fundic atrophy increased to 83.3% (95%CI 51.6–97.9) and its specificity decreased to 88.8% (95%CI 80.8–94.3).
Among endoscopy clinic patients, PGII is a sensitive marker for extension of nonatrophic gastritis toward the corpus. PGI is a stable biomarker in assessment of fundic atrophy and has similar accuracy to PGI/PGII ratio among populations with prevalent nonatrophic pangastritis.
The rising epidemic of diabetes imposes a substantial economic burden on the Middle East. Using baseline data from a population based cohort study, we aimed to identify the correlates of diabetes mellitus (DM) in a mainly rural population from Iran. Between 2004 and 2007, 50044 adults between 30 and 87 years old from Golestan Province located in Northeast Iran were enrolled in the Golestan Cohort Study. Demographic and health-related information was collected using questionnaires. Individuals' body sizes at ages 15 and 30 were assessed by validated pictograms ranging from 1 (very lean) to 7 in men and 9 in women. DM diagnosis was based on the self-report of a physician's diagnosis. The accuracy of self-reported DM was evaluated in a subcohort of 3811 individuals using fasting plasma glucose level and medical records. Poisson regression with robust variance estimator was used to estimate prevalence ratios (PR's). The prevalence of self-reported DM standardized to the national and world population was 5.7% and 6.2%, respectively. Self-reported DM had 61.5% sensitivity and 97.6% specificity. Socioeconomic status was inversely associated with DM prevalence. Green tea and opium consumption increased the prevalence of DM. Obesity at all ages and extreme leanness in childhood increased diabetes prevalence. Being obese throughout life doubled DM prevalence in women (PR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.8, 2.4). These findings emphasize the importance of improving DM awareness, improving general living conditions, and early lifestyle modifications in diabetes prevention.
Background and Aims
Acute hepatitis C infection usually ends in chronic infection, while in a minority of patients it is spontaneously cleared. The current population-based study is performed on a large cohort in Golestan province of Iran to examine the demographic correlates of Spontaneous Hepatitis C Clearance.
Serum samples used in this study had been stored in biorepository of Golestan Cohort Study. These samples were evaluated for anti hepatitis C Virus by third generation Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Subjects who tested positive were then invited and tested by Recombinant Immunoblot Assay (RIBA) and Ribonucleic Acid Polymerase Chain Reaction test (PCR). If tested positive for RIBA, subjects were recalled and the two tests were re-done after 6 months. Those subjects who again tested positive for RIBA but negative for PCR were marked as cases of spontaneous clearance.
49,338 serum samples were evaluated. The prevalence of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (CHCV) infection based on PCR results was 0.31%. Among those who had acquired hepatitis C, the rate of SC was 38%. In multivariate analysis, illicit drug use both Injecting Use (OR = 3.271, 95% CI: 1.784–6.000, p-value<0.001) and Non-Injecting Use (OR = 1.901, 95% CI: 1.068–3.386, p-value = 0.029) were significant correlates of CHCV infection versus SC.
Illicit drug use whether intravenous or non-intravenous is the only significant correlate of CHCV, for which several underlying mechanisms can be postulated including repeated contacts with hepatitis C antigen.
Golestan Province in northern Iran is an area with a high incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We aimed to investigate prognostic factors for ESCC and survival of cases in Golestan, on which little data were available. We followed-up 426 ESCC cases participating in a population-based case-control study. Data were analyzed using the Kaplan–Meier method and the Cox proportional hazard models. Median survival was 7 months. Age at diagnosis was inversely associated with survival, but the association was disappeared with adjustment for treatment. Residing in urban areas (hazard ratio, HR = 0.70; 95% CI 0.54–0.90) and being of non-Turkmen ethnic groups (HR = 0.76; 95% CI 0.61–0.96) were associated with better prognosis. In contrast to other types of tobacco use, nass (a smokeless tobacco product) chewing was associated with a slightly poorer prognosis even in models adjusted for other factors including stage of disease and treatment (HR = 1.38; 95% CI 0.99–1.92). Opium use was associated with poorer prognosis in crude analyses but not in adjusted models. Almost all of potentially curative treatments were associated with longer survival. Prognosis of ESCC in Golestan is very poor. Easier access to treatment facilities may improve the prognosis of ESCC in Golestan. The observed association between nass chewing and poorer prognosis needs further investigations; this association may suggest a possible role for ingestion of nass constituents in prognosis of ESCC.
Although for asymptomatic hepatic hemangiomas, conservative management is generally recommended, factors affecting disease course are still not very well understood.
To determine disease characteristics of cavernous hemangioma and factors affecting its progression in patients from a general hepatology clinic in Tehran, Iran.
We reviewed medical records of 198 patients with cavernous hemangioma of the liver visiting a large private hepatology clinic in Tehran from 1997 to 2007. Of a total of 198 cases, 129 could be followed up for a period of 3.2±2.5 years, and 80 of these had 1 to 5 repeat sonographies.
Patients were between 27 and 84 years old (mean age 44.3±10.9), and 131 (66.2%) were female. Thirty-six patients (18.2%) had giant hemangiomas. Abdominal pain was the primary reason for evaluation in 100 (50.5%) patients. Abdominal pain at the beginning of follow-up was significantly associated with having irritable bowel syndrome (OR=8.3; 95%CI: 3.1-28.7) or other GI diseases (OR=3.9; 95%CI: 2.6-10.2), but not with hemangioma size, number or location. During follow-up, having a single giant lesion at the time of diagnosis, adjusted for age, sex and presence of IBS, was a strong predictor of persistent pain during follow-up (OR=11.1; 95%CI: 3.2-38.6). In repeat sonographies, 35% showed increased size, which was significantly associated only with having a single lesion (p=0.04).
Many symptoms in hepatic hemangioma are attributable to accompanying GI diseases. Patients with a single giant lesion are more likely to have persistent pain, and single lesions are more likely to grow in size.
liver; hemangioma; ultrasonography
Fibroscan; Liver fibrosis; Diagnosis; Liver biopsy
The incidence of end-stage renal disease is increasing worldwide. Earlier studies reported high prevalence rates of obesity and hypertension, two major risk factors of chronic kidney disease (CKD), in Golestan Province, Iran. We aimed to investigate prevalence of moderate to severe CKD and its risk factors in the region.
Questionnaire data and blood samples were collected from 3591 participants (≥18 years old) from the general population. Based on serum creatinine levels, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was estimated.
High body mass index (BMI) was common: 35.0% of participants were overweight (BMI 25–29.9) and 24.5% were obese (BMI ≥30). Prevalence of CKD stages 3 to 5 (CKD–S3-5), i.e., GFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, was 4.6%. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the risk of CKD–S3-5 associated with every year increase in age was 1.13 (1.11–1.15). Men were at lower risk of CKD–S3-5 than women (OR = 0.28; 95% CI 0.18–0.45). Obesity (OR = 1.78; 95% CI 1.04–3.05) and self-reported diabetes (OR = 1.70; 95% CI 1.00–2.86), hypertension (OR = 3.16; 95% CI 2.02–4.95), ischemic heart disease (OR = 2.73; 95% CI 1.55–4.81), and myocardial infarction (OR = 2.69; 95% CI 1.14–6.32) were associated with increased risk of CKD–S3-5 in the models adjusted for age and sex. The association persisted for self-reported hypertension even after adjustments for BMI and history of diabetes (OR = 2.85; 95% CI 1.77–4.59).
A considerable proportion of inhabitants in Golestan have CKD–S3-5. Screening of individuals with major risk factors of CKD, in order to early detection and treatment of impaired renal function, may be plausible. Further studies on optimal risk prediction of future end-stage renal disease and effectiveness of any screening program are warranted.
Geographic variation and temporal trends in the epidemiology of esophageal and gastric cancers vary according to both tumor morphology and organ subsite. This study compares 1-year survival of gastric and esophageal cancers between two distinct populations: British Columbia (BC), Canada, and Ardabil, Iran.
Data for invasive primary esophageal and gastric cancer patients were obtained from the population-based cancer registries for BC and Ardabil. The relative survival rate was calculated using WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS) life-tables for each country. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare survival differences between BC and Ardabil. T-tests, chi-square tests, and Fisher’s exact test were used to compare patient characteristics and tumor factors between the populations.
The overall 1-year age-standardized relative survivals for gastric cancer were 48% and 21% in BC and Ardabil, respectively (p < 0.01). The overall 1-year age-standardized relative survival for esophageal cancer was 33% and 17% in BC and Ardabil, respectively (p < 0.05). Overall and separately for each gender, age group, tumor location, and histology, there was greater 1-year survival of the gastric cancer patients in BC compared to Ardabil. For esophageal cancer; patients under age 65, patients with tumors in the middle or upper third of esophagus, and patients with squamous cell carcinoma had significantly better survival in BC than in Ardabil.
Findings of this study point to differences in disease characteristics and patient factors, not solely differences in healthcare systems, as being responsible for the survival difference in these populations.
Esophageal cancer; Gastric cancer; Survival; Cancer registry
AIM: To investigate the expression of p53 and p21 and associations with possible risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in northeastern Iran, a region with a high incidence of ESCC.
METHODS: The expression of p53 and p21 proteins was investigated immunohistochemically in tumor tissue from 80 ESCC patients and in 60 available paraffin-embedded blocks of adjacent normal specimens from the cases, along with normal esophageal tissue from 80 healthy subjects.
RESULTS: Positive expression of p53 protein was detected in 56.2% (45/80) of ESCC cases, and in none of the normal esophageal tissue of the control group (P < 0.001). Furthermore, 73.8% (59/80) of ESCC cases and 43.8% (35/80) of controls had positive expression of p21 protein (P < 0.001). Cigarette smoking was significantly associated with p53 over-expression in ESCC cases (P = 0.010, OR = 3.64; 95% CI: 1.32-10.02). p21 over-expression was associated with poorer clinical outcome among the ESCC patients (P = 0.009).
CONCLUSION: Over-expression of p53 in association with cigarette smoking may play a critical role in ESCC carcinogenesis among this high-risk population of northeastern Iran. Furthermore, p21 over-expression was found to be associated with poor prognosis, specifically in the operable ESCC patients.
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; p53; p21; Immunohistochemistry; Survival; Smoking