By pegylated interferon (PegIFN)-free direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, a sustained virological response (SVR) rate >95% can be attained with a satisfactory tolerability and shorter treatment duration. However, it remains controversial whether there is any difference in prognosis depending on regimens—PegIFN or DAAs. We compared the probabilities of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development between patients achieving an SVR by PegIFN/ribavirin (PegIFN group, n = 603) and DAAs (DAAs group, n = 479). The DAAs group was significantly older and had a higher proportion of cirrhosis than the PegIFN group. Before adjustment, the DAAs group had a higher HCC incidence than the PegIFN group (p < 0.001). However, by multivariate analyses, the DAAs (vs. PegIFN) group was not associated with HCC risk (adjusted hazard ratio 0.968, 95% confidence interval 0.380–2.468; p = 0.946). Old age, male, higher body mass index, cirrhosis, and lower platelet count were associated with increased HCC risk (all p < 0.05). After propensity score matching (PSM), a similar HCC risk between the two groups was observed (p = 0.372). We also compared HCC incidences according to sofosbuvir (SOF)-based and SOF-free DAAs, showing a similar risk in both groups before adjustment (p = 0.478) and after PSM (p = 0.855). In conclusion, post-SVR HCC risks were comparable according to treatment regimens; PegIFN-vs. DAA-based regimens and SOF-based vs. SOF-free DAA regimens. Further studies with a longer follow-up period are required.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research