Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Intern Med. 2003 Feb 18;138(4):299-306.

Interferon therapy after tumor ablation improves prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma associated with hepatitis C virus.

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan.



Even after the surgical or medical treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, tumors frequently develop at new foci, leading to a poor prognosis.


To assess whether combined tumor ablation and interferon therapy can reduce the occurrence of new foci of hepatocellular carcinoma, thereby improving survival rate.


Randomized, controlled study.


University hospital.


74 patients with compensated cirrhosis, three or fewer nodules of hepatocellular carcinoma, and low hepatitis C virus RNA loads (< or =2 x 10(6) copies/mL).


After all patients had complete ablation of lesions by percutaneous ethanol injection therapy, 49 patients were assigned to receive 6 million U of interferon three times weekly for 48 weeks and 25 did not receive treatment.


Abdominal ultrasonography, computed tomography, and determination of blood biochemical measures.


Of the 49 patients treated with interferon, 21 showed a sustained biochemical response and 14 showed a sustained virologic response. The rate of first recurrence of new foci of hepatocellular carcinoma was similar in patients treated with interferon and untreated patients; however, the rates of second or third recurrence seemed to be lower in the interferon group than in the untreated group. Patients treated with interferon had a survival rate of 68% at 5 years and 53% at 7 years; untreated patients had a survival rate of 48% at 5 years and 23% at 7 years.


After tumor ablation by ethanol injection, interferon therapy may enhance patient survival in selected patients with chronic hepatitis C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center