Combination PEG-IFN a-2b/Ribavirin Therapy Following Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma is Capable of Improving Hepatic Functional Reserve and Survival
Background/Aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) associated HCC shows a high rate of recurrence even after curative treatment. Outcomes of pegylated interferon PEGIFN a-2b/ribavirin (RBV) therapy for HCV-associated HCC have yet to be elucidated. We investigated therapeutic response and hepatic functional reserve improvement in patients receiving PEG-IFN a-2b/RBV after curative HCC treatment. Methodology: We investigated survival rate, metachronous recurrence and hepatic functional reserve in 54 patients with initial HCV-associated Stage I/II HCC; 29 patients were administered a preparation of PEG-IFN a-2b/RBV after HCC treatment (Secondary IFN group) and 25 were not (Non-secondary IFN group). Results: A significant difference was observed in cumulative survival rates among HCV-associated HCC patients with rates of 100% after 1 year and 90.2% after 3 years in the secondary IFN group compared to 96.0% and 61.2%, respectively, in the non-secondary IFN group. Univariate analysis identified secondary IFN treatment, alanine aminotransferase and albumin levels as factors contributing to survival. Serum albumin level decreased temporarily but subsequently increased and improved hepatic functional reserve was observed in PEG-IFN a-2b/RBV therapy. Conclusions: PEG-IFN a-2b/RBV therapy after HCC treatment can improve hepatic functional reserve and may therefore represent a therapeutic option in the event of recurrence. PEG-IFN a-2b/ RBV therapy following HCC treatment shows promise for improving the prognosis of HCC.
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