INTERFERON-FREE THERAPY IS NOT A TRIGGER FOR HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC INFECTION WITH HEPATITIS C VIRUS
ANDRA-IULIA SUCEVEANU 1#, ANCA PANTEA STOIAN 2#*, LAURA MAZILU 1#, FELIX VOINEA 3#, RĂZVAN HAINĂROȘIE 2#, CAMELIA CRISTINA DIACONU 2#, SILVIU PIȚURU 2#, CORNELIA NIȚIPIR 2#, DUMITRU CRISTINEL BADIU 2#, IULIANA CEAUȘU 2#, ADRIAN PAUL SUCEVEANU 1#
1.“Ovidius” University, Faculty of Medicine, Internal Medicine Discipline, Gastroenterology Department, Constanța, Romania
2.“Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
3.“Ovidius” University, Faculty of Medicine, Urology Discipline, Constanța, Romania
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The literature focused on data regarding the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after interferon (IFN)-free therapy is ambiguous. Researchers are preoccupied to find if the risk of developing liver cancer is related only to the therapy per se or it is influenced by a multitude of factors. We aimed to develop a local analysis of risk factors associated with HCC occurrence in patients with liver cirrhosis due to HCV (hepatitis C virus) infection treated with IFN-free therapy. We made an observational, retrospective study, between 2016 - 2019, on 188 cirrhotic patients with HCV infection, diagnosed, treated and followed-up by screening for HCC occurrence, using the recordings from the patient’s charts available in the archive of the Gastroenterology Lab, “Aquamed” Clinic, Constanța County, Romania. We noted the demographic, lab, imagistic data and treatment procedures applied, comparing two groups of patients: the IFN-free therapy group – 89 patients and the standard IFN therapy group – 99 patients. As statistic method, we used the SAS Cox proportional hazards regression procedure, in order to calculate the HR (hazard ratio) and CI (confidence interval) 95% for each parameter studied as risk factor involved in HCC occurrence. In the unadjusted model, there was estimated an increased risk in HCC occurrence in IFN-free therapy group compared to standard IFN therapy group (p = 0.0341). After adjustment for age, gender, severity of the disease, (Child-Pugh classification) or complications, there was not a statistically significant difference between IFN-free therapy group or IFN therapy group in order to develop HCC (hazard ratio = 0.05, p = 0.5038). Our observational study, even if made on a small number of patients, confirms that IFN-free therapy is safe, the benefits obtained covering the risks. Our study results did not find a link between IFN-free therapy and HCC occurrence over the known risk of liver cirrhosis, when taking into account multiple features of disease prior to treatment onset.