To assess the impact of HCV eradication on the outcomes of cirrhotic patients treated curatively for incidental hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) detected during surveillance program. Data were collected on 1,323 French patients with compensated biopsy-proven HCV cirrhosis recruited in 35 centers (ANRS CO12 CirVir cohort). Sustained virologic responses (SVR) and the occurrence of HCC were recorded prospectively. During a median follow-up of 68.3 months, 218 patients developed HCC, 126 of whom underwent a curative procedure as first-line therapy (ablation = 95, resection = 31). The HCC BCLC stage was 0/A in 97.5% of patients; 74 (58.7%) never achieved SVR. During a median follow-up of 26.0 months after HCC treatment, 59 (46.8%) experienced HCC recurrence. SVR was not associated with a recurrence, whether considering final SVR status [HR = 0.77; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.43-1.39; = 0.39] or its time to achievement (prior to/after HCC occurrence; global = 0.28). During the same timeframe, 46 patients with HCC (36.5%) died (liver failure: 41.9%, HCC progression: 37.2%, extrahepatic causes: 20.9%). Under multivariate analysis, SVR was associated with improved survival [HR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.08-0.52; = 0.001]. Survival benefit was explained by a lower incidence of liver decompensation and higher rates of sequential HCC re-treatment. Direct antiviral intake was not associated with a higher risk of HCC recurrence, but with improved survival (HR = 0.23; 95% CI, 0.06-0.83; = 0.024). HCV eradication in primary or secondary prevention optimizes HCC management through preservation of liver function and improves survival, whatever the regimen. PREVENTION RELEVANCE: Liver failure is a competing risk of death in patients with HCC eligible for curative procedures. HCV eradication does not decrease risk of HCC recurrence in the first two years, but enables sequential curative HCC treatments through preservation of liver function. Direct-acting antiviral agent intake is not associated with HCC recurrence and improves survival.
HCV Eradication in Primary or Secondary Prevention Optimizes Hepatocellular Carcinoma Curative Management.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2021;14(5):581-592.