Predicting Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Patients with Chronic HCV Infection and a Sustained Virological Response to Direct-Acting Antivirals
Journal of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) may complicate with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), especially in patients with cirrhosis. Although the achievement of a sustained virological response (SVR) had been associated with a reduction in the risk of HCC already in the Interferon era, some concerns initially raised following the use of directacting antivirals (DAA), as their use was associated with increased risk of HCC development and aggressiveness. However, studies demonstrated that
... risk of HCC was strongly influenced by pre-treatment fibrosis stage and, eventually, prior HCC history more than the type of antiviral therapy. According to published studies, rates of de-novo HCC ranged between 1.4% and 13.6% in patients with cirrhosis or advanced fibrosis vs 0.9% and 5.9% in those with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Conversely, rates of recurrent HCC were higher, ranging between 3.2% and 49% in cirrhotics vs 0% and 40% in CHC patients. Most studies tried to identify predictors of HCC development, either de-novo or recurrent, and some authors were also able to build predictive scores for HCC risk stratification, which however still need prospective validation. Whereas some clinical features, such as age, gender, presence of comorbidities and fibrosis stage, may influence both de-novo and recurrent HCC, previous tumour burden before DAA seems to prevail over these features in recurrent HCC risk prediction.