Effect of interferon therapy on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis: a meta-analysis
Article first published online: 15 JAN 2002
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 15, Issue 5, pages 689–698, May 2001
How to Cite
Papatheodoridis, G. V., Papadimitropoulos, V. C. and Hadziyannis, S. J. (2001), Effect of interferon therapy on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis: a meta-analysis. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 15: 689–698. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2001.00979.x
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2002
- Article first published online: 15 JAN 2002
The role of interferon in the prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma remains controversial.
In this meta-analysis we evaluated the hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in interferon-treated and -untreated patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis.
Eleven studies with 2178 patients were found to fulfil our inclusion criteria. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated from the raw study data.
Hepatocellular carcinoma development was significantly more frequent in untreated (21.5%) than in interferon-treated patients (8.2%; OR: 3.0, 95% CI: 2.3–3.9). In the five studies reporting hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in patients with and without sustained response to interferon, hepatocellular carcinoma was detected at a much higher rate in patients without (9%) than with a sustained response (0.9%; OR: 3.7, 95% CI: 1.7–7.8). Moreover, hepatocellular carcinoma developed significantly more frequently in the untreated patients than in the non-sustained responders (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.9–3.9). The benefit from interferon on hepatocellular carcinoma incidence was not influenced by the study type (prospective or retrospective), the follow-up duration, or the study origin.
Interferon therapy significantly reduces the hepatocellular carcinoma risk in patients with hepatitis C virus cirrhosis. Hepatocellular carcinoma development becomes almost negligible among sustained responders, but a reduction in hepatocellular carcinoma incidence is also achieved even in the non-sustained responders.