Occult, overt HBV coinfection predictive of outcomes from HCV-associated HCC

Disease-free survival after surgical treatment of hepatitis C-associated hepatocellular carcinoma was significantly influenced by occult or overt hepatitis B coinfection in a recent study.

Researchers evaluated liver tissue from 115 patients with HCV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who underwent total surgical removal of tumors between July 1998 and August 2001 at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linko, Taiwan. All tissue was collected from the noncancerous parts of the removed HCC.

“Theoretically, occult HBV-infected patients can have negative serum HBV DNA and negative serum HBsAg, but positive liver tissue HBV DNA,” researcher Chau-Ting Yeh, MD, PhD, director of the Liver Research Center at the hospital, told Healio.com. “[However,] it is very difficult to identify such patients. Using surgically removed HCC tissue, we have an excellent opportunity to look into this issue.”

Chang M-L. PloS One. 2013;doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064891.

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