Source Department of Surgery, Yokohama City University, 3-9, Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.
Nowadays, patients with chronic hepatitis C in all countries are generally treated with interferon (IFN), and more than 50% of patients become HCV-RNA negative following PEG-IFN plus ribavirin therapy, but unfortunately, the IFN therapy is not effective in about 70% of patients with HCV-associated LC. In Japan, HCC actually develops in about 7% of those patients every year. A strategy for preventing HCC development other than IFN therapy is, therefore, urgently needed for those patients. We reported that the recurrence rate and the development of HCC was more rapid in the high serum ALT level (>80 IU) patients with HCV-associated LC. Sho-saiko-to, Juzen-taiho-to, and stronger-neo minophagen C are herbal medicines used in Japan to treat chronic viral liver diseases, and they work by reducing inflammatory processes and controlling ALT levels. Aggressive reduction therapy for ALT levels in HCV-LC patients could significantly prevent HCC development.