A two-step strategy may help determine liver cancer risk after recovery from HCV

The results of the study, conducted from the Virgen del Rocío Hospital, reveal the importance of personalized medicine and the assessment of each patient.

This multicenter study, published by the American Journal of Gastroenterology and led by researcher Javier Ampuero, specialist in the digestive system at the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital and associate professor at the University of Seville, helps determine which patients remain at risk liver cancer and, therefore, should continue follow-up consultations after recovering from hepatitis C infection.

An analysis was performed on a cohort of 1,000 patients from 11 Andalusian hospitals. The project highlights the need for personalized medicine and individual assessment of patients with hepatitis C, even after recovering from this infection.

Once the infection is cured, the prognosis for patients changes drastically, with a smaller number of patients who will suffer from complications derived from the damage already suffered. In this sense, our results show that there are patients who remain at risk of liver cancer, although they have been cured of hepatitis C, and therefore must continue to be closely monitored, while there are others who continue with follow-up consultations but may be discharged due to their low risk. »

Dr Javier Ampuero, Associate Professor, University of Seville

The combination of two steps, transient elastography and ultrasound, is described to identify patients at risk.

Current guidelines recommend post-recovery follow-up based on baseline data (i.e. lab tests or transient elastography before starting treatment), while the study also suggests consideration of changes after treatment for better risk stratification.

Javier Ampuero is also a professor at the University of Seville and co-researcher responsible for the SeLiver group in the field of liver diseases at the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS), coordinated by Manuel Romero. Three researchers from CIBER for Liver and Digestive Diseases participated in this study.

Hepatitis C

Chronic hepatitis C infection is responsible for one of the most common liver diseases in the world and is one of the main indications for liver transplantation. Since the arrival of direct-acting antivirals, most patients can be cured in a few weeks and with few adverse effects, unlike before.

Professionals in the Digestive System Unit at Virgen del Rocío University Hospital have treated and cured more than 1,500 patients since 2015, when direct-acting antivirals arrived. Additionally, they are now focusing on detecting patients with unknown infection and, most importantly, determining which patients should be followed up in the healthcare system due to their risk of complications after recovery from hepatitis. vs.


Journal reference:

Ampuero, J. et al. (2022) A 2-step strategy combining FIB-4 with transient elastography and ultrasound predicted liver cancer after HCV cure. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000001503.

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