Get access

Interferon-α therapy after curative resection prevents early recurrence and improves survival in patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma




A retrospective cohort study was conducted to investigate the effect of interferon-α (IFN-α) therapy after curative resection on survival and recurrence in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


Of 568 HBV-related HCC patients who underwent curative resection, 101 patients received postoperative IFN-α therapy (5 million units three times every week for 18 months). Clinicopathological factors were compared between patients with postoperative IFN-α therapy or not. Risk factors for survival, early, and late recurrence (2 years as cut-off) were studied.


The median follow-up time was 53.3 months. There was no significant difference in clinicopathological factors between the two groups. Patients with postoperative IFN-α therapy had higher overall survival rates (hazards ratio (HR): 0.612, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.422–0.889, P = 0.010). No significant difference in disease-free survival rates was detected between the two groups (HR: 0.786, 95% CI: 0.597–1.035, P = 0.086). Multivariate analysis revealed that postoperative IFN-α therapy was an independent factor for overall survival (HR: 0.611, 95% CI: 0.421–0.887, P = 0.010) and significantly reduced early recurrence (HR: 0.562, 95% CI: 0.375–0.840, P = 0.005).


IFN-α therapy after curative resection prevented early recurrence and improved overall survival of patients with HBV-related HCC. J. Surg. Oncol. 2010;102:796–801. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.