Hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence in patients with curative resection or ablation: impact of HCV eradication does not depend on the use of interferon

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Jan;45(1):160-168. doi: 10.1111/apt.13821. Epub 2016 Oct 28.


Background: In HCV-infected cirrhotic patients with successfully treated early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the time to HCC recurrence and the effects of sustained viral eradication (SVR) by interferon (IFN)-based or IFN-free regimens on HCC recurrence remain unclear.

Aim: To perform an indirect comparison of time to recurrence (TTR) in patients with successfully treated early HCC and active HCV infection with those of patients with SVR by IFN-based and by IFN-free regimens.

Methods: We evaluated 443 patients with HCV-related cirrhosis and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer Stage A/0 HCC who had a complete radiological response after curative resection or ablation. Active HCV infection was present in 328, selected from the Italian Liver Cancer group cohort; 58 patients had SVR achieved by IFN-free regimens after HCC cure, and 57 patients had SVR achieved by IFN-based regimens after HCC cure. Individual data of patients in the last two groups were extracted from available publications.

Results: TTR by Kaplan-Meier curve was significantly lower in patients with active HCV infection compared with those with SVR both by IFN-free (P = 0.02) and by IFN-based (P < 0.001) treatments. TTR was similar in patients with SVR by IFN-free or by IFN-based (P = 0.49) strategies.

Conclusion: In HCV-infected, successfully treated patients with early HCC, SVR obtained by IFN-based or IFN-free regimens significantly reduce tumour recurrence without differences related to the anti-viral strategy used.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation* / methods
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Interferons / therapeutic use*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferons