Hepatocellular carcinoma risk according to regimens for eradication of hepatitis C virus; interferon or direct acting antivirals

Hye Won Lee, Dai Hoon Han, Hye Jung Shin, Jae Seung Lee, Seung Up Kim, Jun Yong Park, Do Young Kim, Sang Hoon Ahn, Beom Kyung Kim

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8 Citations (Scopus)


By pegylated interferon (PegIFN)-free direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, a sustained virological response (SVR) rate >95% can be attained with a satisfactory tolerability and shorter treatment duration. However, it remains controversial whether there is any difference in prognosis depending on regimens—PegIFN or DAAs. We compared the probabilities of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development between patients achieving an SVR by PegIFN/ribavirin (PegIFN group, n = 603) and DAAs (DAAs group, n = 479). The DAAs group was significantly older and had a higher proportion of cirrhosis than the PegIFN group. Before adjustment, the DAAs group had a higher HCC incidence than the PegIFN group (p < 0.001). However, by multivariate analyses, the DAAs (vs. PegIFN) group was not associated with HCC risk (adjusted hazard ratio 0.968, 95% confidence interval 0.380–2.468; p = 0.946). Old age, male, higher body mass index, cirrhosis, and lower platelet count were associated with increased HCC risk (all p < 0.05). After propensity score matching (PSM), a similar HCC risk between the two groups was observed (p = 0.372). We also compared HCC incidences according to sofosbuvir (SOF)-based and SOF-free DAAs, showing a similar risk in both groups before adjustment (p = 0.478) and after PSM (p = 0.855). In conclusion, post-SVR HCC risks were comparable according to treatment regimens; PegIFN-vs. DAA-based regimens and SOF-based vs. SOF-free DAA regimens. Further studies with a longer follow-up period are required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3414
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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