Branched-chain amino acids suppress the cumulative recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma under conditions of insulin-resistance


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) reportedly inhibit the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with liver cirrhosis and obesity that is frequently associated with insulin resistance (IR). We previously reported that BCAAs exert a chemopreventive effect against HCC under IR conditions in rats. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of BCAAs on the cumulative recurrence of HCC under IR conditions in the clinical practice. BCAA granules (Livact®, 12 g/day) were administered for 60 months following the local curative therapy for HCC, and several indices were determined. Treatment with BCAAs markedly inhibited the cumulative recurrence of HCC in patients with a high IR index [homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-IR >2.5], but not in patients with HOMA-IR of ≤2.5. BCAA also improved the HOMA-IR, and the inhibitory effect was observed regardless of the serum albumin (Alb) levels. Similarly, BCAA treatment revealed a marked suppressive effect in patients with high fasting insulin [immune reactive insulin (IRI)>15 U/ml], but not with IRI of ≤15. BCAA treatment did not result in differences in HCC recurrence in patients with high and low glucose levels [fasting blood sugar (FBS)>110 and ≤110, respectively]. Furthermore, serum levels of the soluble form of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (sVEGFR2) were significantly inhibited along with these clinical effects. Our findings indicate that the inhibitory effect of BCAAs was achieved, at least partly, by coordinated effects of anti-angiogenesis and IR improvement. Since BCAAs are widely and safely used in clinical practice to treat patients with chronic liver diseases, BCAAs may represent a new strategy for secondary chemoprevention for HCC patients with IR. Moreover, our findings suggest that sVEGFR2 may be a useful clinical predictive marker for BCAA treatment under IR conditions.

DOI: 10.3892/or.2013.2497

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@inproceedings{Yoshiji2013BranchedchainAA, title={Branched-chain amino acids suppress the cumulative recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma under conditions of insulin-resistance}, author={Hitoshi Yoshiji and Ryuichi Noguchi and Tadashi Namisaki and Kei Moriya and Mitsuteru Kitade and Y. Aihara and Akitoshi Douhara and Junichi Yamao and Masao Fujimoto and Masahisa Toyohara and Akira Mitoro and Masayoshi Sawai and Motoyuki Yoshida and Chie Morioka and Masakazu Uejima and Masahito Uemura and Hiroshi Fukui}, booktitle={Oncology reports}, year={2013} }