Vol. 47, No. 6, 2004
Issue release date: 2004
Intervirology 2004;47:355–361
Original Paper
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Interferon Therapy for 2 Years or Longer Reduces the Incidence of Hepatocarcinogenesis in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Viral Infection

Arase Y. · Ikeda K. · Tsubota A. · Suzuki F. · Suzuki Y. · Saitoh S. · Kobayashi M. · Akuta N. · Someya T. · Hosaka T. · Sezaki H. · Kobayashi M. · Kumada H.
Department of Gastroenterology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Long-term interferon treatment, hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Hepatitis C virus RNA
  • Hepatocarcinogenesis

 goto top of outline Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this clinical study was to determine the effect of long-term interferon (IFN) administration on the incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) in chronic hepatitis C patients, without eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) by IFN therapy. Methods: The number of patients with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis with moderate or severe staging, HCV genotype 1b, a high viral load exceeding 1 MEq/ml (mega equivalents per milliliter), who received 6 MU of natural IFN-α daily for 2–8 weeks, followed by three times/week for 16–22 weeks, as initial IFN therapy, and positivity for HCV RNA during IFN administration was 131. 47 of the 131 patients continued to be treated with IFN (long-term IFN group, dose 3 or 6 MU twice or three times weekly for 1.5–10.5 years, median 4.0 years) after initial IFN therapy, while 84 patients did not receive any IFN therapy apart from the initial 6-month course (no-add-IFN group). The patients were prospectively monitored, and the cumulative incidence of HCC and risk factors for HCC were examined. Results: The 5- and 10-year cumulative rates of HCC were 1.9 and 6.4% and 1.9 and 26.8% for long-term IFN and no-add-IFN groups, respectively. Cox regression analysis indicated that the relative risk of HCC in the patients of the no-add-IFN group was 8.72 times of that in patients of the long-term IFN group. Conclusion: Long-term IFN therapy in patients with chronic HCV infection is effective in preventing hepatocarcinogenesis.

Copyright © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Yasuji Arase, MD
Department of Gastroenterology
Toranomon Hospital, 2-2-2 Toranomon, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105 (Japan)
Tel. +81 3 3588 1111, Fax +81 3 3582 7068, E-Mail es9y-ars@asahi-net.or.jp

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: November 3, 2003
Accepted after revision: January 13, 2004
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 4, Number of References : 40

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Intervirology (International Journal of Basic and Medical Virology)

Vol. 47, No. 6, Year 2004 (Cover Date: 2004)

Journal Editor: Liebert, U.G. (Leipzig)
ISSN: 0300–5526 (print), 1423–0100 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/int

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