Source Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1, Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama, 700-8558, Japan.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with interferon (IFN) prevents the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The purpose of this study was to clarify the effect of previous IFN treatment before the development of HCC on recurrence and survival in HCV-related HCC patients.
METHODS: Three hundred ninety-five patients who underwent curative treatment for HCV-related HCC were enrolled. Of these, 124 had received IFN treatment before the development of HCC (17 achieved sustained virological response [SVR group] and 107 did not [non-SVR group]), whereas 271 patients had never received IFN treatment (IFN-untreated group). The first and second recurrence and survival rates in these patient groups were statistically analyzed.
RESULTS: The first HCC recurrence rate was similar among patient groups. In contrast, the second HCC recurrence rate was significantly lower in the SVR group than in the non-SVR group (p = 0.003) and the IFN-untreated group (p = 0.006). In multivariate analysis, platelet count (p = 0.033) and number of tumors (p = 0.001) were associated with the first HCC recurrence, while SVR (p = 0.002) was the only factor associated with the second HCC recurrence. The survival rate was higher in the SVR group than in non-SVR and IFN-untreated groups, and SVR to previous IFN treatment was an independent factor associated with better survival (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: SVR to previous IFN treatment before the development of HCV-related HCC was associated with lower risk of the second recurrence of HCC and better survival.