An analysis of risk factors for developing hepatocellular carcinoma in a group of hepatitis C patients with stage 3 fibrosis following interferon therapy

Sabina Mahmood, Kazumi Togawa, Miwa Kawanaka, Gouichi Niiyama, Gotaro Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The risk of Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is high in HCV-infected patients who have biochemically and histologically active chronic hepatitis. To observe the long prognosis of Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) patients with stage 3 fibrosis (F3), 55 CHC patients after initial Interferon (IFN) therapy were followed up for up to 12 years (average 9.8 ± 2.3 years). According to the annual average alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, patients were grouped into, low (ALT ≦ 30 IU/l); moderate (ALT >30 <80 IU/l) and high (ALT ≧ 80 IU/l) ALT groups. Eleven patients were re-treated with IFN. During the follow-up period of 12 years, HCC developed in 26 patients with an average annual incidence of 3.9%. Biochemical responders to initial IFN therapy (n = 8) and those re-treated with IFN (n = 10), except 1, did not develop HCC. Cox regression analysis to evaluate risk factors for HCC occurrence, found development of Liver Cirrhosis within 3 years of initial IFN therapy(P = 0.05) and the 3 year annual average ALT post initial IFN therapy (P = 0.033) to be significant. The 12 year annual average ALT was also found to be significantly related to HCC occurrence (P = 0.016), on univariate analysis. Patients belonging to the continuously low ALT group (ALT ≦ 30 IU/l for ≧3 years), did not develop HCC or receive IFN re-treatment. In CHC patients with F3, after initial IFN therapy, keeping ALT continuously low, below 30 IU/l for 3 years or more seems important. Continuing treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs along with subsequent IFN re-treatment may prevent or delay HCC even in elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Informatics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 22 2008



  • Alanine aminotransferase
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Chronic hepatitis C
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Long prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this