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Wilson disease, ABCC2 c.3972C > T polymorphism and primary liver cancers: suggestions from a familial cluster.

BMC Medical Genetics 2020 November 19
BACKGROUND: Polymorphisms in genes modulating xenobiotics metabolism, in particular the ABCC2 c.3972C > T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at exon 28, have been suggested to increase primary liver cancer (PLC) risk. Conversely, the occurrence of PLCs in Wilson disease patients is a rare event, in contrast with the occurrence observed in other chronic liver diseases. Here we report the clinical case of five siblings carrying the ABCC2 c.3972C > T SNP; three of them were affected by Wilson disease and two brothers with Wilson disease also developed PLCs.

METHODS: The presence of the ABCC2 c.3972C > T SNP was assessed by Sanger sequencing and the exposure of PLC risk factors by standardized questionnaires.

RESULTS: Notably, PLCs occurred only in the two brothers with the ABCC2 c.3972C > T SNP and Wilson disease who resulted exposed to asbestos and cigarette smoking, but not in the other siblings with the ABCC2 c.3972C > T SNP, alone or in association with Wilson disease, not exposed to these carcinogens and/or to other known risk factors for PLCs.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that ABCC2 c.3972C > T SNP and WD, also in association, may not represent a sufficient condition for PLC development, but that co-occurrence of further host/exogenous risk factors are needed to drive this process, reinforcing the notion that liver carcinogenesis is the result of a complex interplay between environmental and host genetic determinants. Due to the sporadic cases of this study and the paucity of data currently available in literature on this issue, future investigations in a larger population are needed to confirm our findings.

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