Objective: Anticarcinogenic activity of ribavirin combination therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related compensated cirrhosis is still unclear. Methods: In study 1, in 157 consecutive patients with HCV-related compensated cirrhosis, treatment efficacy with interferon plus ribavirin therapy was evaluated for 48 weeks of HCV genotype 1b (HCV-1b) or 24 weeks of HCV-2a/2b. In study 2, in 185 consecutive patients with HCV-related compensated cirrhosis, who showed no sustained virological response following the first course of interferon monotherapy, hepatocarcinogenesis rates were evaluated according to the additional treatment, and they were classified into three groups: no treatment, interferon monotherapy, and ribavirin combination therapy. Results: In study 1, in HCV-1b, rates of sustained virological response and sustained biochemical response were 21 and 56%, respectively. In HCV-2a/2b, rates of sustained virological response and sustained biochemical response were 70 and 78%, respectively. In HCV-1b, sustained biochemical response rates were significantly higher than those of sustained virological response. In study 2, the hepatocarcinogenesis rates in ribavirin combination therapy were significantly lower than those in interferon monotherapy and no treatment, respectively. Conclusion: Ribavirin combination therapy for HCV-related compensated cirrhosis reduces the risk of hepatocarcinogenesis in comparison with interferon monotherapy, and higher rates of sustained biochemical response might be associated with lower hepatocarcinogenesis rates.
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