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Role of antiviral therapy in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma

Guan, Yong-Songa,b; He, Qinga,b

doi: 10.1097/CAD.0b013e32835ec39a
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Globally, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection leads to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, which in turn causes resultant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Frequently, HCC recurs very soon even after a potentially curative treatment such as surgical interference or locoregional ablative therapies. Chronic HBV/HCV infection is often responsible for this recurrence, through secondary carcinogenesis. Antiviral therapy after a curative treatment of HCC plays an important role in preventing or delaying recurrence and improves survival in patients with HBV/HCV infection-related HCC. This article reviews the worldwide epidemiology of HBV/HCV infection, the association of viral infection with HCC, the mechanism of hepatitis virus-related hepatocarcinogenesis, and the paramount importance of antiviral therapy in the management of HCC.

aDepartment of Oncology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University

bState Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

Correspondence to Yong-Song Guan, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China Tel: +86 28 85421008; fax: +86 28 85538359; e-mail: yongsongguan@yahoo.com

Received November 10, 2012

Accepted January 9, 2013

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins