Hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with HCV

Massimo Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In most Western countries hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Many HCCs are multifocal in origin, but HCC may also grow as a single hepatic nodule for years before generating satellite or distant tumours. HCV may promote cancer through cirrhosis, which is often associated with HCV-related HCC, but it might also have oncogenic properties by interacting with cellular genes that regulate cell growth and differentiation. Treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C using interferon might attenuate HCC risk, particularly in those who respond to therapy. Many patients whose cancer is detected early have been successfully treated by liver transplantation and have shown significantly prolonged survival. This is less often achieved with hepatic resection or regional therapies, which may indeed destroy small tumours, without affecting the complications of portal hypertension. Screening remains the only realistic approach for improving the treatment of HCC patients, but its cost-effectiveness is uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalBailliere's Best Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000


  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Interferon
  • Liver transplantation
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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