Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
The outcome after curative resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still unsatisfactory because of the high rate of recurrence of HCC, including intrahepatic metastasis originating from the primary carcinoma and multicentric carcinogenesis after surgery. The rate of recurrence, particularly of multicentric carcinogenesis after surgery, is affected by persistent active hepatitis and hepatic fibrosis caused by chronic hepatitis B or C. In patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC, a high viral load is a strong risk factor for HCC recurrence. Nucleos(t)ide analogues improve the outcome after curative resection for HBV-related HCC. Interferon therapy improves the outcome after curative resection for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related HCC by decreasing recurrence and preserving or improving liver function when treatment is successful. Low-dose intermittent interferon therapy has also been reported to be effective in suppressing HCC recurrence. New antiviral agents including protease or polymerase inhibitors are expected to be effective because these agents can eradicate HCV in most patients who receive such treatment.