The anti-lymphoma activity of antiviral therapy in HCV-associated B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas: a meta-analysis

J. Peveling-Oberhag, L. Arcaini, K. Bankov, S. Zeuzem, E. Herrmann

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Many epidemiological studies provide solid evidence for an association of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL). However, the most convincing evidence for a causal relationship between HCV infection and lymphoma development is the observation of B-NHL regression after HCV eradication by antiviral therapy (AVT). We conducted a literature search to identify studies that included patients with HCV-associated B-NHL (HCV-NHL) who received AVT, with the intention to treat lymphoma and viral disease at the same time. The primary end point was the correlation of sustained virological response (SVR) under AVT with lymphoma response. Secondary end points were overall lymphoma response rates and HCV-NHL response in correlation with lymphoma subtypes. We included 20 studies that evaluated the efficacy of AVT in HCV-NHL (n = 254 patients). Overall lymphoma response rate through AVT was 73% [95%>confidence interval, (CI) 67–78%]. Throughout studies there was a strong association between SVR and lymphoma response (83% response rate, 95%>CI, 76–88%) compared to a failure in achieving SVR (53% response rate, 95%>CI, 39–67%, P = 0.0002). There was a trend towards favourable response for AVT in HCV-associated marginal zone lymphomas (response rate 81%, 95%>CI, 74–87%) compared to nonmarginal zone origin (response rate 71%, 95%>CI, 61–79%, P = 0.07). In conclusion, in the current meta-analysis, the overall response rate of HCV-NHL under AVT justifies the recommendation for AVT as first-line treatment in patients who do not need immediate conventional treatment. The strong correlation of SVR and lymphoma regression supports the hypothesis of a causal relationship of HCV and lymphomagenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-544
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Antiviral treatment
  • HCV
  • lymphoma
  • meta-analysis
  • NHL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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