Effects of lamivudine on outcome after liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with active replication of hepatitis B virus


Dr Shoji Kubo Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahimachi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585, Japan. Email:


Aim:  Patients with high serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA concentrations are at high risk of tumor recurrence after liver resection for HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Methods:  Among 24 patients with high serum HBV DNA concentrations who underwent liver resection for HBV-related HCC, postoperative lamivudine therapy was chosen by 14 (lamivudine group). The other 10 patients were controls.

Results:  Clinicopathologic findings did not differ between the groups. Tumor-free survival rate after surgery was significantly higher in the lamivudine than the control group (P = 0.0086). By univariate analysis, multiple tumors were also a risk factor for a short tumor-free survival. By multivariate analysis, lack of lamivudine therapy and multiple tumors were independent risk factors for a short tumor-free survival. In four patients YMDD mutant viruses were detected after beginning lamivudine administration; in two of them, adefovir dipivoxil was administered because of sustained serum alanine aminotransferase elevations.

Conclusion:  Lamivudine therapy improved tumor-free survival rate after curative resection of HBV-related HCC in patients with high serum concentrations of HBV DNA, although careful follow up proved necessary for the detection of YMDD mutant viruses.