Hepatitis C treatment benefit extends to nonhepatic cancers

13 Oct 2020

Treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection confers an added benefit of reducing the incidence of nonhepatic cancers, a study suggests.

The study drew data from the MarketScan Databases and included 62,078 patients with newly diagnosed HCV infection. Of the patients, 17,302 (28 percent) initiated HCV treatment, with 15,322 of them completing 8–16 weeks of therapy (minimally effective).

Multivariable, time‐varying Cox proportional hazards models showed that compared with untreated patients, those who initiated HCV treatment had an 11-percent lower risk of developing a nonhepatic cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89, 95 percent confidence interval [Cl], 0.82–0.96).

The risk reduction was slightly higher when patients completed a minimally effective treatment (HR, 0.87, 95 percent Cl, 0.80–0.95). This was seen across subgroups defined by sex, age, and presence of cirrhosis or diabetes.

When analysis was stratified according to cancer or therapy subtypes, the association between HCV treatment and nonhepatic cancers was consistent for pancreatic and lung cancers and dual HCV therapy.

Overall, the findings suggest that treating HCV infection has the potential to reduce the burden of extrahepatic cancer associated with chronic HCV infection, according to the researchers.

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