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Panminerva Medica 2018 December;60(4):185-91

DOI: 10.23736/S0031-0808.18.03472-9

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Hepatitis C virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma: a narrative review

Maja RUŽIĆ 1, Rinaldo PELLICANO 2, Milotka FABRI 1, Francesco LUZZA 3, Luigi BOCCUTO 4, 5, Snežana BRKIĆ 1, Ludovico ABENAVOLI 3

1 Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Clinical Centre of Vojvodina, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; 2 Unit of Gastroenterology, Molinette-SGAS Hospital, Turin, Italy; 3 Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Graecia”, Catanzaro, Italy; 4 Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, SC, USA; 5 Clemson University School of Health Research, Clemson, SC, USA



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most frequent primary liver carcinoma, accounting for about 80% of cases. In spite of advances in modern oncology, this neoplasia still holds the second place in overall cancer mortality. HCC is a multifactor disease: it results from accumulated oncogenic potentials made up of several groups of risk factors, the most significant of which is an infection with hepatotropic viruses. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the primary causes of morbidity and mortality across the world and affects 1.1% of worldwide population. It has been calculated that on average 2.5% of patients affected by chronic HCV infection develops HCC. Hepatocarcinogenesis is the result of the combination of superposing virus specific factors, immunological mechanisms, environmental factors and factors related to the individuals genetic background. Host-related factors include male gender, age of at least 50 years, family predisposition, obesity, advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis and coinfection with other hepatotropic viruses and human immunodeficiency virus. Environmental factors include heavy alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking, and exposure to aflatoxin. In the era of interferon (IFN)-based therapy, the risk of HCC development after established sustained virological response (SVR) was 1% yearly. Data reported in patients with SVR about the increase of HCC prevalence have appeared, after the initial enthusiasm on the efficacy of HCV direct acting antiviral drugs (DAA) protocols. Actually, these data are controversial, but they certainly suggest the need to undertake large, multicenter studies and caution in everyday clinical practice.


KEY WORDS: Neoplasms - Infection - Environmental exposure - Carcinogenesis

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