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Liver Transpl. 2017 Sep;23(9):1103-1112. doi: 10.1002/lt.24790.

Dropout rate from the liver transplant waiting list because of hepatocellular carcinoma progression in hepatitis C virus-infected patients treated with direct-acting antivirals.

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Gastroenterology/Multivisceral Transplant Unit, Padua, Italy.
Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation Unit, Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, Padua, Italy.
Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology Unit, Padua, Italy.
Unit of Internal Medicine and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Padua University Hospital, Padua, Italy.
Gastroenterology, Padua, Italy.
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, St. George's University Hospitals National Health Service Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.


Concerns about an increased hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence rate following direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy in patients with cirrhosis with a prior complete oncological response have been raised. Data regarding the impact of HCV treatment with DAAs on wait-list dropout rates in patients with active HCC and HCV-related cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation (LT) are lacking. HCV-HCC patients listed for LT between January 2015 and May 2016 at Padua Liver Transplant Center were considered eligible for the study. After enrollment, patients were divided into 2 groups, depending on whether they underwent DAA treatment while awaiting LT or not. For each patient clinical, serological, and virological data were collected. HCC characteristics were radiologically evaluated at baseline and during follow-up (FU). For transplanted patients, pathological assessment of the explants was performed and recurrence rates were calculated. A total of 23 patients treated with DAAs and 23 controls were enrolled. HCC characteristics at time of LT listing were comparable between the 2 groups. Median FU was 10 and 7 months, respectively, during which 2/23 (8.7%) and 1/23 (4.3%) dropout events due to HCC progression were registered (P = 0.90). No significant differences in terms of radiological progression were highlighted (P = 0.16). A total of 9 out of 23 (39%) patients and 14 out of 23 (61%) controls underwent LT, and histopathological analysis showed no differences in terms of median number and total tumor volume of HCC nodules, tumor differentiation, or microvascular invasion. During post-LT FU, 1/8 (12.5%) DAA-treated patient and 1/12 (8.3%) control patient experienced HCC recurrence (P = 0.60). In conclusion, viral eradication does not seem to be associated with an increased risk of dropout due to neoplastic progression in HCV-HCC patients awaiting LT. Liver Transplantation 23 1103-1112 2017 AASLD.

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