A risk for hepatocellular carcinoma still persists long-term after sustained virological response in patients with hepatitis C associated liver cirrhosis

MedicalResearch.com: eInterview with: Soo Aleman Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Infectious Diseases Karolinska University Hospital, at Karolinska Institute 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden,Soo Aleman
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Infectious Diseases
Karolinska University Hospital, at Karolinska Institute
171 76 Stockholm, Sweden,


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: In this long-term, prospective study of 351 hepatitis C infected patients with liver cirrhosis, we found a reduced but persistent risk for hepatocellular cancer after successful treatment with eradication of the virus. This risk for hepatocellular cancer remained at a level of 1% per year for those with sustained virological response, and could persist as long as 8 years after eradication.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: We could not see any significant decrease of risk for hepatocellular cancer after more than 3-year versus during the first 3-year of follow-up. The development of hepatocellular cancer could be seen after such a long time period as 8 years after viral eradication. The number of patients with cancer was too low to draw any firm conclusion, but it was nevertheless somewhat surprising that the risk remained for such a prolonged time period.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Even after achieving eradication the hepatitis C virus after treatment, the patients with liver cirrhosis should continue to undergo surveillance with ultrasound regularly for hepatocellular cancer.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: We do not have data today for how long the risk for hepatocellular cancer persists or which subgroups are at the highest risks after sustained virological response. Future studies are needed to answer these questions, to be able to follow-up these patients adequately.

Citation:

A risk for hepatocellular carcinoma still persists long-term after sustained virological response in patients with hepatitis C associated liver cirrhosis

Soo Aleman, Nogol Rahbin, Ola Weiland, Loa Davidsdottir, Magnus Hedenstierna, Nina Rose, Hans Verbaan, Per Stål, Tony Carlsson, Hans Norrgren, Anders Ekbom, Fredrik Granath, and Rolf Hultcrantz

A risk for hepatocellular carcinoma still persists long-term after sustained virological response in patients with hepatitis C associated liver cirrhosis Clin Infect Dis. first published online April 24, 2013 doi:10.1093/cid/cit234

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