HCV eradication reduces risks of gastric cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) leads to a lower risk of gastric cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), particularly among younger patients, a Taiwan study has shown. This indicates that those with chronic HCV infection must be treated as early as possible.
This study included 10,714 patients with chronic HCV infection who had received interferon-based therapy (8,186 sustained virological response [SVR] and 2,528 non-SVR) and were linked to the National Cancer Registry database for the development of 12 extrahepatic malignancies, including those with potential associations with HCV and with top-ranking incidence in Taiwan. SVR was defined as HCV RNA seronegativity throughout post-treatment 24-week follow-up.
Of the patients, 324 (93.02 percent) developed extrahepatic malignancies during 44,354 person-years of follow-up, without a difference between those with and without SVR (annual incidence: 0.69 percent vs 0.87 percent, respectively). Patients without SVR were at greater risk of developing gastric cancer (0.10 percent vs 0.03 percent per person-year; p=0.004) and NHL (0.08 percent vs 0.03 percent per person-year; p=0.03) than those with SVR.
When death was considered a competing risk, non-SVR independently correlated with increased gastric cancer risk (hazard ratio [HR], 3.29, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.37–7.93; p=0.008). After stratification by age, the effect of SVR in reducing the risks of gastric cancer (HR, 0.30, 95 percent CI, 0.11–0.83) and NHL (HR, 0.28, 95 percent CI, 0.09–0.85) was only observed in patients aged <65 years but not those >65 years of age.
“HCV infection is associated with nonhepatocellular carcinoma malignancies,” the authors noted.