Randomized clinical trial of long-term outcome after resection of hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma by postoperative interferon therapy




Interferon therapy seems to decrease the incidence of recurrence after resection of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Effects of postoperative interferon therapy on the survival rate after resection of such HCC are still unclear.


A prospective randomized clinical trial of postoperative interferon therapy was performed. Thirty men were allocated randomly after liver resection to an interferon-α group (15 patients) or a control group. Patients in the interferon group received interferon-α 6 MIU intramuscularly every day for 2 weeks, then three times a week for 14 weeks and finally twice a week for 88 weeks.


The response to interferon was complete in two patients, there was a biochemical response in six patients and no response in seven patients. Interferon administration was not completed in three patients because of adverse events. Liver function did not change or worsened after operation in the control group, and did not change or improved in the interferon group. The cumulative survival rate was higher in the interferon group than in the control group (P = 0·041).


Postoperative interferon therapy seems to improve the outcome after resection of HCV-related HCC. © 2002 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd