Advanced chronic hepatitis C patients with sustained virolological response by antivirals remain at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We investigated the incidence of HCC during and immediately after peginterferon-alfa-2a and ribavirin (RBV) treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C in Japan. HCC was detected in 8 of 238 patients during and after these treatments (mean follow-up period: 572 ± 252 days). In conclusion, occurrence of HCC is not a rare event during and immediately after peginterferon-alfa-2a plus RBV treatment. In cases with cirrhosis, higher α-fetoprotein levels, old age, or a previous history of HCC treatment, clinicians should be especially alert for the possible development of HCC during and immediately after peginterferon-alfa-2a and RBV treatment. Clinicians should regularly check for the possible development of HCC even in chronic hepatitis C patients under treatment.
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