The prevalence of hepatitis C and hepatitis G virus infection in patients with B cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas in Greece: a Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group Study

E Giannoulis, T Economopoulos, K Mandraveli, K Giannoulis, C Nikolaides, E Zervou, E Papageorgiou, D Zoulas, A Tourkantonis, G Giannopoulos, G Fountzilas et al.
Acta Haematologica 2004, 112 (4): 189-93
Our aim was to investigate the association between chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in the Greek population. We studied 120 patients (70 men and 50 women, mean age 59 years) diagnosed with NHL. One hundred and eight had B cell NHL (90%) and 12 had T cell NHL (10%). The presence of anti-HCV antibodies in patients and controls was investigated using the monoclonal enzymatic immunoassay (MEIA) method. The detection of HCV RNA and hepatitis G virus (HGV) RNA in patients with B cell NHL and anti-HCV-positive controls was performed using an RT-PCR technique. Anti-HCV antibodies were present in only 2 of the 108 patients with B cell NHL (1.9%), while the prevalence of HCV infection in the healthy population was 0.6%, and in patients with various solid tumors treated with chemotherapy, it was 0.99%. Ten of the 108 B cell NHL patients (9.26%) were diagnosed as HGV RNA positive, while the prevalence of HGV infection in 285 Greek blood donors was 0.7%. Our findings do not confirm a strong association between HCV infection and B cell NHL for Greek patients. The increased prevalence of HGV infection detected in patients with NHL could imply the potential participation of HGV in the pathogenesis of NHL.

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