Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital
Kaohsiung Medical University
Health and Welfare Data Science Center, Taiwan
ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: Age and hepatic fibrosis are the factors that increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma over time. We aimed to explore their impact at the initiation of antiviral therapy on hepatocellular carcinoma among chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients.Experimental Design: A total of 1,281 biopsy-proven CHC patients receiving IFN-based therapy were followed for a mean period of 5.5 years.Results: The 5-year cumulative incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma did not differ between non–sustained virological response (SVR) and SVR patients who were <40 years old (7.7% vs. 0.5%, P = 0.1) but was significantly higher in non-SVR patients between 40 and 55 years old (18.0% vs. 1.3%, P < 0.001) and >55 years old (15.1% vs. 7.9%, P = 0.03). Compared with SVR, non-SVR was independently predictive of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients 40 to 55 years old [HR/95% confidence intervals (CI), 10.92/3.78–31.56; P < 0.001] and >55 years old (HR/CI, 1.96/1.06–3.63; P = 0.03) but not in patients <40 years old (HR/CI, 2.76/0.41–18.84; P = 0.3). The 5-year cumulative incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma did not differ between non-SVR and SVR patients whose fibrosis stage was F0–1 (4.6% vs. 1.9%, P = 0.25) but was higher in non-SVR patients with F2–3 (21.4% vs. 4.3%, P < 0.001) or F4 (33.5% vs. 8.4%, P = 0.002). Compared with SVR, non-SVR was independently predictive of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with F2–3 (HR/CI, 4.36/2.10–9.03; P < 0.001) and F4 (HR/CI, 3.84/1.59–9.30; P = 0.03) but not in those with F0–1 (HR/CI, 1.53/0.49–4.74; P = 0.47).Conclusions: Delayed hepatitis C virus clearance for patients with CHC >40 years old or with a fibrosis stage >2 increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma over time. Clin Cancer Res; 23(7); 1690–7. ©2016 AACR.