Direct-acting antiviral agents reduces the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.

A new study published in the Journal of Hepatology aimed to determine the impact of direct-acting antiviral (DAA)-induced sustained virologic response (SVR) on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk. Here, 3271 incident cases of HCC diagnosed at least 180 days after initiation of antiviral treatment were identified, during a mean follow-up of 6.1 years. The results revealed that the incidence of HCC was highest in patients with cirrhosis and treatment failure, followed by cirrhosis and SVR, no cirrhosis and treatment failure, and no cirrhosis and SVR. Additionally, SVR was associated with a significantly decreased risk of HCC in multivariable models irrespective of whether the antiviral treatment was DAA-only or interferon-only. Furthermore, receipt of a DAA-only or DAA + interferon regimen was not found to be associated with increased HCC risk, when compared to receipt of an interferon-only regimen. Hence, it was inferred that DAA-induced SVR is associated with a 71% reduction in HCC risk. While, treatment with DAAs is not associated with increased HCC risk compared to treatment with interferon.1

1. Ioannou G, Green P, Berry K. HCV eradication induced by direct-acting antiviral agents reduces the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of Hepatology. 2017. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2017.08.030.