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J Hepatol. 2011 Feb;54(2):219-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2010.07.011. Epub 2010 Sep 7.

The efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy in chronic hepatitis c patients with hepatocellular carcinoma post curative therapies - a multicenter prospective trial.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Evidence on the efficacy of antiviral treatment in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after curative treatment is scarce. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin (pegIFN/RBV) combination therapy in these patients, compared to cirrhotic patients.


This prospective, multicenter, case-control study recruited 82 consecutive CHC patients with HCC after curative management and 87 sex/age-matched cirrhotic patients. All patients received pegIFN-alpha-2a and weight-based RBV according to current treatment recommendations. The primary outcome measurement was sustained virological response (SVR, seronegative of hepatitis C virus RNA throughout the 6-month post-treatment follow-up period).


The SVR rate was significantly lower in the HCC group compared to the cirrhosis group (48.8% vs 64.4%, p=0.04). However, the significantly lower rate of SVR in the HCC group was observed among genotype-1 patients (33.3% vs 60.7%, p=0.005) but not among genotype-2/3 patients (70.6% vs 71.0%, p=0.88). In patients who achieved 80/80/80 adherence, there was no significant difference of SVR rate between groups (50.7% vs 64.2%, p=0.12) Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that rapid virological response (viral clearance during the first 4 weeks of treatment, odds ratio=22.1, p<0.001) and adherence (odds ratio=3.1, p=0.05) were predictive factors associated with SVR, whilst previous occurrence of HCC was not associated with SVR (Odds ratio=0.4, p=0.09). The incidence of severe adverse events did not differ between the two groups.


The study proved the feasibility of pegIFN/RBV therapy with current treatment guidelines in CHC patients after successful eradication of HCC, with careful monitoring.

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