Eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection via interferon‐based treatment lowers hepatocellular carcinoma risk.
Some research suggests this effect extends to interferon‐free treatment.
Dr Singer and colleagues examined the association of direct‐acting antiviral exposure with risk of incident liver cancer in real‐world data.
From United States administrative claims data through 2017, the team identified 30,183 adult HCV patients exposed to direct‐acting antivirals.
|Direct‐acting antiviral treatment was associated with a significantly reduced risk of liver cancer|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
For comparison, the researchers identified contemporary adult HCV patients without evidence of HCV treatment, and historical HCV patients treated with interferon prior to the introduction of direct‐acting antivirals.
Included patients had at least 12 months of prior enrolment and no evidence of prior liver cancer at baseline.
Relative to untreated HCV patients, direct‐acting antiviral‐treated patients were older, more likely to be male, and more likely to have cirrhosis at baseline.
After adjustment, direct‐acting antiviral treatment was associated with a significantly reduced risk of liver cancer relative to no treatment, and relative to interferon‐based treatment in the pre‐direct‐acting antiviral era.
Dr Singer's team comments, "In this large, population‐based study, DAA‐based treatment was associated with a reduced risk of incident liver cancer relative to both no HCV treatment and to interferon‐based treatment in the pre‐direct‐acting antiviral era."
"As additional follow‐up time of direct‐acting antiviral‐treated patients accrues, we anticipate that the long‐term benefits of direct‐acting antiviral treatment will become more apparent."