Source Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA Division of Abdominal Organ Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major concerns following liver transplantation (LT). With the potential antitumor properties of interferon (IFN), their role in prevention of HCC recurrence is to be defined. We retrospectively reviewed 46 patients who underwent LT for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related HCC between January 2004 and December 2008. Twenty-four (52.2%) patients with biopsy-proven HCV recurrence received antiviral therapy (IFN group); their outcomes were compared with 22 patients (control group). There was no significant difference for tumor size, number, and type of neo-adjuvant therapy between the two groups. The 1- and 3-year overall patient survival (100% vs. 90.9% and 87.3% vs. 71.8%; P = 0.150) and tumor-free survival (100% vs. 72.7% and 83.1% vs. 67.5%; P = 0.214) between IFN and control group were comparable. HCC recurrence was the most common cause of death (n = 6 of 12, 50%), all in the control group. During follow-up, seven (15.2%) patients developed HCC recurrence: one (4.1%) in the IFN group and six (27.3%) in the control group (P < 0.05). In conclusions, HCC recurrence rate and related deaths were significantly lower in patients that received post-transplant antiviral therapy for recurrent HCV.