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Prevalence of Antigens/Antibodies Against Hepatitis B and C Viruses in A Cohort of Italian Patients with Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Admitted to Two Hospital Wards in Italy: A Pivotal Retrospective Study

Author(s): Sirio Fiorino, Maddalena Zippi, Claudia Benini, Angelo Luca De Quarto, Michele Masetti, et al.

Background/Objectives: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) is a disease with a poor prognosis. Hepatitis B (HBV)/Hepatitis C (HCV) viruses are hepatotropic pathogens with pro-carcinogenic properties able to attack also the pancreas. Although several trials, mainly carried out in the USA and in the Eastern Countries, strongly suggested that HBV/HCV exert a role in PAC development, no study on this topic was still performed in Italy. Through this present work, we aimed to assess HBV antigens/antibodies and anti-HCV antibodies prevalence in a small cohort of Italian patients with PAC, irrespective of the other risk factors for PAC development, like smoking, alcohol drinking, and diabetes.

Methods: This pivotal-retrospective-study was led both at Surgery Unit of Maggiore Hospital, (Bologna) and at Unit of Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy of Sandro Pertini Hospital, (Rome). Data concerning age, sex, pancreatic cancer localization (head, body, tail) and serum HBV/HCV profiles of subjects with a histological/radiological/biochemical diagnosis of PAC were collected from files concerning pancreatectomy and endoscopic-retrograde-cholangiopancreatography (ERCPs).

Results: It was found that 4 patients were HBsAg positive and 28 were HBsAb/HBcAb-positive, with a prevalence equal to 1% and 7.5%, respectively. Sixteen patients were HCV positive, with a prevalence equal to 4.3%.

Conclusions: Our observational study describes, for the first time in our Country, HBsAg, HBsAb/HBcAb and HCV prevalence in a small-sized cohort of patients suffering from PAC. Despite no definitive conclusions on the association between HBV/HCV infection and PAC may be drawn, our research could represent the basis for additional epidemiological/histological nationwide trials in Italy.

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