- A frequent variant in the human bile salt export pump gene ABCB11 is associated with hepatitis C virus infection, but not liver stiffness in a German population (2012)
- Background: The human ATP-binding cassette, subfamily B, member 11 (ABCB11) gene encodes the bile salt export pump, which is exclusively expressed at the canalicular membrane of hepatocytes. A frequent variant in the coding region, c.1331 T > C, leading to the amino acid exchange p.V444A, has been associated with altered serum bile salt levels in healthy individuals and predisposes homozygous carriers of the [C] allele for obstetric cholestasis. Recently, elevated bile salt levels were shown to be significantly associated with rates and risk of cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection treated with pegylated interferon-alpha2 and ribavirin, suggesting a potential role for bile salt levels in HCV treatment outcomes and in the fibrogenic evolution of HCV-related liver disease. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible association of ABCB11 c.1331 T > C with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and fibrosis stages as assessed by non-invasive transient elastography in a German cohort of patients. Methods: ABCB11 c.1331 T > C genotype was determined by allelic discrimination assay in 649 HCV infected cases and 413 controls. Overall, 444 cases were staged for fibrotic progression by measurement of liver stiffness. Results: Homo- or heterozygous presence of the frequent [C] allele was associated with HCV positivity (OR = 1.41, CI = 1.02 - 1.95, p = 0.037). No association was detectable between the ABCB11 c.1331 T > C genotype and increased liver stiffness. Conclusions: Our data confirm that homozygous presence of the major [C] allele of ABCB11 c.1331 T > C is a genetic susceptibility factor for HCV infection, but not for liver fibrosis.
- Gemcitabine plus sorafenib versus gemcitabine alone in advanced biliary tract cancer: a double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre phase II AIO study with biomarker and serum programme (2014)
- Background: Since sorafenib has shown activity in different tumour types and gemcitabine regimens improved the outcome for biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients, we evaluated first-line gemcitabine plus sorafenib in a double-blind phase II study. Patients and methods: 102 unresectable or metastatic BTC patients with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of gallbladder or intrahepatic bile ducts, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 0–2 were randomised to gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 once weekly, first 7-weeks + 1-week rest followed by once 3-weeks + 1-week rest) plus sorafenib (400 mg twice daily) or placebo. Treatment continued until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Tumour samples were prospectively stained for sorafenib targets and potential biomarkers. Serum samples (first two cycles) were measured for vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1)α by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Gemcitabine plus sorafenib was generally well tolerated. Four and three patients achieved partial responses in the sorafenib and placebo groups, respectively. There was no difference in the primary end-point, median progression-free survival (PFS) for gemcitabine plus sorafenib versus gemcitabine plus placebo (3.0 versus 4.9 months, P = 0.859), and no difference for median overall survival (OS) (8.4 versus 11.2 months, P = 0.775). Patients with liver metastasis after resection of primary BTC survived longer with sorafenib (P = 0.019) compared to placebo. Patients who developed hand-foot syndrome (HFS) showed longer PFS and OS than patients without HFS. Two sorafenib targets, VEGFR-2 and c-kit, were not expressed in BTC samples. VEGFR-3 and Hif1α were associated with lymph node metastases and T stage. Absence of PDGFRβ expression correlated with longer PFS. Conclusion: The addition of sorafenib to gemcitabine did not demonstrate improved efficacy in advanced BTC patients. Biomarker subgroup analysis suggested that some patients might benefit from combined treatment.
- The INCA trial (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial (2015)
- BACKGROUND: Patients with liver cirrhosis have a highly elevated risk of developing bacterial infections that significantly decrease survival rates. One of the most relevant infections is spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). Recently, NOD2 germline variants were found to be potential predictors of the development of infectious complications and mortality in patients with cirrhosis. The aim of the INCA (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites) trial is to investigate whether survival of this genetically defined high-risk group of patients with cirrhosis defined by the presence of NOD2 variants is improved by primary antibiotic prophylaxis of SBP. METHODS/DESIGN: The INCA trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with two parallel treatment arms (arm 1: norfloxacin 400 mg once daily; arm 2: placebo once daily; 12-month treatment and observational period). Balanced randomization of 186 eligible patients with stratification for the protein content of the ascites (<15 versus ≥15 g/L) and the study site is planned. In this multicenter national study, patients are recruited in at least 13 centers throughout Germany. The key inclusion criterion is the presence of a NOD2 risk variant in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis. The most important exclusion criteria are current SBP or previous history of SBP and any long-term antibiotic prophylaxis. The primary endpoint is overall survival after 12 months of treatment. Secondary objectives are to evaluate whether the frequencies of SBP and other clinically relevant infections necessitating antibiotic treatment, as well as the total duration of unplanned hospitalization due to cirrhosis, differ in both study arms. Recruitment started in February 2014. DISCUSSION: Preventive strategies are required to avoid life-threatening infections in patients with liver cirrhosis, but unselected use of antibiotics can trigger resistant bacteria and worsen outcome. Thus, individualized approaches that direct intervention only to patients with the highest risk are urgently needed. This trial meets this need by suggesting stratified prevention based on genetic risk assessment. To our knowledge, the INCA trial is first in the field of hepatology aimed at rapidly transferring and validating information on individual genetic risk into clinical decision algorithms. TRIAL REGISTRATIONS: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00005616 . Registered 22 January 2014. EU Clinical Trials Register EudraCT 2013-001626-26 . Registered 26 January 2015.