Prospective Comparison of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Behavior and Survival of Patients who Did or Did not Receive HCV Direct-Acting Antivirals

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Endemic Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Endemic Medicine and Hepatology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

3 Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endemic Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Minia, Egypt.


Background & Aims: The safety and efficacy of hepatitis C (HCV) direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have been established in several real-world trials; however, some reports have claimed an association between DAAs and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurrence or aggressive behavior. We aimed to prospectively examine differences in de-novo HCC tumor behavior and overall survival (OS) in DAAs-treated versus HCV-untreated patients as measured by BCLC progression during a two-year follow-up period. Methods: This multicenter cohort study recruited 523 patients with de-novo HCV-related HCC. After exclusion criteria were applied, 353 patients were placed into; Group 1, including 236 patients without a history of DAAs therapy, and Group 2 including 117 patients with de-novo HCC developed after receiving DAAs. Patients were then stratified in each group according to BCLC staging (Liver, 2018). All patients received standard of care management and were followed until death or a maximum of 2 years. Results: No statistically significant differences were observed between the two groups regarding tumor characteristics (number and size of lesions) and criteria for aggressiveness upon presentation. Among all BCLC stages, DAAs treated patients showed significantly lower baseline Fib4 values than DAA untreated patients in BCLC-0 stage (4.1 vs 7.7, p 0.019). No statistically significant differences were evident in HCC progression in the different BCLC stages at 12 and 24 months follow up periods (p 0.0718 and 0.279 respectively). Significantly better survival was recorded in Group 1 compared to Group 2 patients for BCLC stages C and D (p = 0.003 and 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: HCC may develop at an earlier stage of liver disease after DAAs therapy. No defensive role was found for DAAs treatment in delaying HCC progression that occurs after viral eradication.


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