Background & Aims: Determining risk for recurrence or survival after curative resection or ablation in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is important for stratifying patients according to expected outcomes in future studies of adjuvant therapy in the era of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). The aims of this meta-analysis were to estimate the recurrence and survival probabilities of HCV-related early HCC following complete response after potentially curative treatment and to identify predictors of recurrence and survival. Methods: Studies reporting time-dependent outcomes (HCC recurrence or death) after potentially curative treatment of HCV-related early HCC were identified in MEDLINE through May 2016. Data on patient populations and outcomes were extracted from each study by three independent observers and combined using a distribution-free summary survival curve. Primary outcomes were actuarial probabilities of recurrence and survival. Results: Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. Pooled estimates of actuarial recurrence rates were 7.4% at 6 months and 47.0% at 2 years. Pooled estimates of actuarial survival rates were 79.8% at 3 years and 58.6% at 5 years. Heterogeneity among studies was highly significant for all outcomes. By univariate meta-regression analyses, lower serum albumin, randomized controlled trial study design and follow-up were independently associated with higher recurrence risk, whereas tumour size and alpha-foetoprotein levels were associated with higher mortality. Conclusions: This meta-analysis showed that recurrence risk and survival are extremely variable in patients with successfully treated HCV-related HCC, providing a useful benchmark for indirect comparisons of the benefits of DAAs and for a correct design of randomized controlled trials in the adjuvant setting.
- hepatocellular carcinoma
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