Prediagnostic dietary intakes of vitamin A and β-carotene are associated with hepatocellular-carcinoma survival†
Vitamin A and its precursor (β-carotene) have been linked with cancer incidence and mortality. However, the relationship between vitamin A and the prognosis of hepatocellular-carcinoma (HCC) is still unknown. Therefore, we investigated whether dietary intakes of vitamin A, retinol, and β-carotene were associated with survival in patients with HCC who participated in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study. Patients aged 18–80 years with a diagnosis of incident Primary Liver Cancer (PLC) were enrolled within one month of diagnosis prior to cancer treatment at the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center. Dietary information one year before diagnosis of HCC was obtained using a 79-item, validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). We restricted the present analysis to 877 HCC patients enrolled in the GLCC between September, 2013 and April, 2017 who had completed FFQ. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for overall and HCC-specific survival. After a median follow-up of 797 days, 384 deaths were documented, 343 of which died from HCC. The multivariable-adjusted HRs (95% CI) of overall and HCC-specific survival for the highest versus the lowest quartile were 0.70 (0.53–0.94) and 0.68 (0.50–0.92) for vitamin A, and 0.72 (0.54–0.96) and 0.69 (0.51–0.94) for β-carotene, respectively. However, no significant association of dietary retinol intakes with survival outcomes was observed. Our observations suggest that higher prediagnostic dietary intakes of vitamin A and β-carotene were associated with improved overall and HCC-specific survival.