Source Department of Medicine and Molecular Science, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Minami-ku, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan Laboratory for Digestive Diseases, Centre for Genomic Medicine, RIKEN (The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Japan Department of Surgery, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Programs for Biomedical Research, Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.
Summary. The present study was designed to determine the predictive factors for the viral response to pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin combination therapy (PEGIFN/RBV) administered after curative treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
The study group was 78 patients treated between January 2005 and January 2009. The sustained viral response (SVR) rate was 25.8% (15/58) in patients infected with HCV-genotype 1 and 55.0% (11/20) in those with genotype 2. Among the 78 patients, 32 (41.0%) could not complete the treatment protocol, and this was because of HCC recurrence in 17 (53%) of them. Multivariate analysis identified partial early viral response (pEVR) as the only independent determinant of SVR [odds ratio (OR) 14.73, P = 0.013] for patients with genotype 1. Multivariate analysis identified male gender (OR 8.72, P = 0.001) and interleukin-28B (IL-28B) genotype (rs8099917) TT (OR 7.93, P = 0.007) as independent predictors of pEVR. Multivariate analysis also identified IL-28B genotype GG+TG (OR 14.1, P = 0.021) and α-fetoprotein >30 (OR 5.4, P = 0.031) as independent predictors of null response. Patients with SVR showed a better survival rate than those without SVR (P = 0.034).
The second HCC recurrence rate tended to be lower in patients with SVR than in those without SVR (P = 0.054). With regard to the prognosis of patients with SVR, it is desirable to achieve SVR with interferon therapy even when administered after HCC treatment. IL-28B genotype is a potentially useful marker for the response to PEGIFN/RBV therapy administered after curative treatment of HCV-related HCC.