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World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Mar 21;20(11):2771-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i11.2771.

Challenges in managing hepatitis C virus infection in cancer patients.

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Roy A Borchardt, Harrys A Torres, Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, United States.


Cancer patients have unique problems associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and treatment not seen in the general population. HCV infection poses additional challenges and considerations for the management of cancer, and vice versa. HCV infection also can lead to the development of cancer, particularly hepatocellular carcinoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In severely immunocompromised cancer patients, diagnosis of HCV infection requires increased reliance on RNA detection techniques. HCV infection can affect chemotherapy, and delay of HCV infection treatment until completion of chemotherapy and achievement of cancer remission may be required to decrease the potential for drug-drug interactions between antineoplastic agents and HCV therapeutics and potentiation of side effects of these agents. In addition, hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients have an increased risk of early development of cirrhosis and fibrosis. Whether this increased risk applies to all patients regardless of cancer treatment is unknown. Furthermore, patients with cancer may have poorer sustained virological responses to HCV infection treatment than do those without cancer. Unfortunately, not all cancer patients are candidates for HCV infection therapy. In this article, we review the challenges in managing HCV infection in cancer patients and HSCT recipients.


Antiviral; Cancer; Chemotherapy; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant; Hepatitis C virus; Pegylated interferon; Ribavirin; Treatment

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