Hepatology International

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 559–566

Long-term interferon therapy after radiofrequency ablation is effective in treating patients with HCV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Soji Shimomura
  • Naoto Ikeda
  • Masaki Saito
  • Akio Ishii
  • Tomoyuki Takashima
  • Yoshiyuki Sakai
  • Shohei Yoshikawa
  • Nobuhiro Aizawa
  • Hironori Tanaka
  • Yoshinori Iwata
  • Hirayuki Enomoto
  • Hiroyasu Imanishi
  • Teruhisa Yamamoto
  • Hisato Jomura
  • Hideji Nakamura
  • Hiroko Iijima
  • Shuhei Nishiguchi
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12072-010-9214-2

Cite this article as:
Shimomura, S., Ikeda, N., Saito, M. et al. Hepatol Int (2011) 5: 559. doi:10.1007/s12072-010-9214-2

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the usefulness of long-term interferon (IFN) therapy following radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for HCV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Methods

This is a retrospective observational study. Patients underwent pegylated IFN-α/ribavirin combination therapy for 48 weeks and then were maintained on IFN-α administration on average for 68 weeks (mean total duration 116 weeks). Patients who underwent IFN monotherapy were maintained on IFN administration on average for 78 weeks.

Results

There were biases in the background factors between the IFN and non-IFN groups. Therefore, a covariate adjustment was performed using the propensity score. An analysis of 20-matched patients from each group showed the 5-year cumulative survival rate was higher in the IFN group than in the non-IFN group (100 and 76%, respectively), and the 3-year cumulative recurrence rate was significantly lower in the IFN group than in the non-IFN group (38.0 and 64.2%, respectively). In 14 patients (i.e., IFN responders), the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level remained normalized at 30 IU/mL or lower, regardless of disappearance of serum HCV RNA. In these patients, the cumulative recurrence rate was low, the hazard ratio was 0.158 (95% confidence interval = 0.045–0.561, P = 0.004), and the serum albumin level was retained.

Conclusion

These results show the importance of maintaining the liver function and suggest that long-term IFN administration after RFA inhibits recurrence and contributes to an improved outcome in patients (in particular, IFN responders) who initially develop HCC.

Keywords

Hepatitis C virus Interferon Hepatocellular carcinoma Prevention Radiofrequency ablation 

Copyright information

© Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soji Shimomura
    • 1
  • Naoto Ikeda
    • 1
  • Masaki Saito
    • 1
  • Akio Ishii
    • 1
  • Tomoyuki Takashima
    • 1
  • Yoshiyuki Sakai
    • 1
  • Shohei Yoshikawa
    • 1
  • Nobuhiro Aizawa
    • 1
  • Hironori Tanaka
    • 1
  • Yoshinori Iwata
    • 1
  • Hirayuki Enomoto
    • 1
  • Hiroyasu Imanishi
    • 1
  • Teruhisa Yamamoto
    • 2
  • Hisato Jomura
    • 3
  • Hideji Nakamura
    • 1
  • Hiroko Iijima
    • 1
  • Shuhei Nishiguchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Disease, Department of Internal MedicineHyogo College of MedicineHyogoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Gastrointestinal MedicineWakakusa-Daiichi HospitalOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineWakakoukai ClinicOsakaJapan