|Grant Number:||1R01CA085891-01 Interpret this number|
|Primary Investigator:||Strickland, Donald|
|Organization:||St. Jude Children'S Research Hospital|
|Project Title:||Hepatitis C in Childhood Cancer Survivors|
The broad, long-term objective of this proposal is to conduct a prospective, longitudinal natural history study of hepatitis C (HCV) infection in a well-defined cohort of childhood cancer survivors. The specific aims of this proposal are (1) to assemble a cohort of survivors of childhood cancer who were infected with HCV by transfusion during childhood, and (2) to develop predictive models for the subsequent development of cirrhosis, chronic active hepatitis, fibrosis, liver decompensation, hepatoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and other HCV-related hepatic sequelae. This cohort is unique in comparison with other groups with chronic HCV infection in that these patients acquired the infection when they were young and were receiving immunosuppressive or hepatotoxic therapy. Thus, studies of this cohort should advance the understanding of clinical risk factors that predispose patients to clinically significant liver disease. So far, 1,441 of 3,767 (38.3 percent) patients who received transfusions at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital between 1962 and July 1992 have been screened for HCV by enzyme immunoblot assay. Of these, 110 (7.6 percent) patients have detectable HCV antibodies; 59 of these patients have been enrolled, and the remaining 51 are potentially eligible for participation in a longitudinal study of the natural history of HCV. Based on the prevalence of HCV infection in our currently screened cohort, we estimate that 293 transfused, but untested patients will be HCV seropositive. After adjusting for the anticipated rates of survival and study participation, we estimate that we will enroll a total of 268 HCV seropositive cancer survivors in a prospective epidemiologic study. As the ultimate aims of this proposal are to define the risk of progression to clinically significant liver disease in this cohort and to elucidate the impact of age, immunosuppression, and hepatotoxic cancer therapy on the outcome of chronic HCV infection, the histologic findings of these study patients will be correlated with clinical, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging variables.