Post-operative recurrence of liver cancer according to antiviral therapy for detectable hepatitis B viremia: A nationwide study

Byungyoon Yun, Sang Hoon Ahn, Juyeon Oh, Jin Ha Yoon, Beom Kyung Kim

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Background: High postoperative recurrence of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a significant challenge. Here, we aimed to compare the postoperative HCC recurrence between patients with AVT for detectable serum HBV-DNA vs. those without. Methods: Data of patients undergoing curative resection of HBV-infected HCC as an initial therapy from 2015 to 2017 were obtained from the National Health Insurance Service database in South Korea. AVT was initiated when serum HBV-DNA was detectable. The primary outcome was HCC recurrence. The cumulative risk of HCC recurrence between AVT users and non-users was estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: During follow-up (median 2.7 years) with 3034 patients, 25.7% and 23.6% of AVT users and non-users experienced HCC recurrence, respectively. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year cumulative recurrence rates were similar (p = 0.57): 15.6%, 23.3%, and 26.4% in AVT users versus 15.3%, 22.0%, and 24.9% in non-users, respectively. After adjusting for covariates, multivariable Cox regression analysis showed comparable outcomes between the two groups with adjusted hazard ratios (aHR 1.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.89–1.31; p = 0.439). Similar outcomes between the two groups were reproduced after stratification of liver cirrhosis. Inverse probability treatment weighting analysis also showed comparable outcomes between the two groups in the subgroups with liver cirrhosis (aHR 1.01, 95% CI 0.80–1.29; p = 0.92) and non-cirrhosis (aHR 1.08, 95% CI 0.87–1.34; p = 0.472). Conclusions: Initiating AVT based on detectable serum HBV-DNA provided the similar risk of postoperative HCC recurrence in HBV-infected HCC patients with and without detectable serum HBV-DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

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© 2022 European Federation of Internal Medicine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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