Should We Cure Hepatitis C Virus in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma While Treating Cancer?

Giuseppe Cabibbo; Ciro Celsa; Calogero Cammà; Antonio Craxì


Liver International. 2018;38(12):2108-2116. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Direct acting antivirals stabilize or improve liver function in the majority of patients with hepatitis C virus cirrhosis. Hepatic decompensation is the main driver of death of patients with early, successfully treated hepatocellular carcinoma superimposed to cirrhosis. Treatment with direct acting antivirals could improve the prognosis of these subjects, independently from the subsequent course of hepatocellular carcinoma, if the efficacy in obtaining viral clearance is as high as in patients without a history of hepatocellular carcinoma, and if the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence is unaffected. When dealing with hepatocellular carcinoma patients, direct acting antivirals can be indicated in two different settings: (a) subjects in which hepatocellular carcinoma has been already successfully treated ("cured" hepatocellular carcinoma), or (b) subjects whose hepatocellular carcinoma is still untreated or untreatable ("active" hepatocellular carcinoma). Although there are abundant data on "cured" hepatocellular carcinoma, evidence supporting treatment decisions in patients with "active" hepatocellular carcinoma is at best scarce and controversial, since these patients as well as patients with hepatocellular carcinoma listed for liver transplantation are usually excluded from treatment.