Hepatitis C virus-associated B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas: what do we know?

Ther Adv Hematol. 2016 Apr;7(2):94-107. doi: 10.1177/2040620715623924. Epub 2015 Dec 29.


Epidemiological studies have shown an increased risk of developing B-cell lymphomas in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. There is, however, a great geographic variability and it remains unclear whether additional environmental and genetic factors are involved or whether the international discrepancies represent simply a consequence of the variable prevalence of HCV infection in different countries. Other confounding factors may affect the comparability of the different studies, including the method of HCV assessment, the selection of normal controls, the lymphoma classification used and the year of publication. The most convincing evidence for a causal relationship comes from the observation, mainly limited to some indolent subtypes, of B-cell lymphoma regressions after successful HCV eradication with antiviral treatment. Yet, the molecular mechanism of HCV-induced lymphomagenesis are mainly hypothetical. According to most plausible models, lymphoma growth is a consequence of continuous antigenic stimulation induced by the chronic viral infection. This review will summarize the current knowledge on HCV-associated lymphomas and their management.

Keywords: B-cell lymphoma; cryglobulinemia; hepatitis C.

Publication types

  • Review