, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp 1413-1420
Date: 27 Oct 2009

Natural course of HCV infection in childhood cancer survivors

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Goals of work

To describe the course of hepatitis C in a cohort of 105 survivors after childhood cancer.

Patients and methods

Data on chemo/radiotherapy, clinical status, serial alanine aminotransferase (ALT) evaluation, and virological parameters after the end of treatment were collected for each patient. Liver biopsies, when performed, were centrally evaluated by a pathologist.

Main results

All patients were alive at the end of follow-up and did not show hepatic insufficiency. ALT evaluation along the entire follow-up showed a moderate (87%) or a remarkable (13%) cytolytic pattern. Young age at diagnosis, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and duration of infection significantly correlate with a worse hepatic activity. Type of tumor and chemo and/or radiotherapy regimens did not influence the pattern of hepatic cytolysis. Liver biopsy, centrally reviewed in 30% of the cohort, showed one case of cirrhosis and mild fibrosis in 71% of the group. Higher degrees of fibrosis did not seem to be related to any exposition to chemo/radiotherapy but correlated significantly with the more remarkable cytolytic course.


The outcome of hepatitis C in our patients is comparable to the one described in European cohorts of adult cancer survivors and perinatally infected subjects. Nevertheless, progression to high degrees of hepatic damage has to be monitored by a careful follow-up.