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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 76

of 'Nonsurgical therapies for localized hepatocellular carcinoma: Radiofrequency ablation, percutaneous ethanol injection, thermal ablation, and cryoablation'

Interferon therapy after tumor ablation improves prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma associated with hepatitis C virus.
Shiratori Y, Shiina S, Teratani T, Imamura M, Obi S, Sato S, Koike Y, Yoshida H, Omata M
Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(4):299.
BACKGROUND: Even after the surgical or medical treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, tumors frequently develop at new foci, leading to a poor prognosis.
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether combined tumor ablation and interferon therapy can reduce the occurrence of new foci of hepatocellular carcinoma, thereby improving survival rate.
DESIGN: Randomized, controlled study.
SETTING: University hospital.
PATIENTS: 74 patients with compensated cirrhosis, three or fewer nodules of hepatocellular carcinoma, and low hepatitis C virus RNA loads (<or =2 x 10(6) copies/mL).
INTERVENTION: After all patientshad complete ablation of lesions by percutaneous ethanol injection therapy, 49 patients were assigned to receive 6 million U of interferon three times weekly for 48 weeks and 25 did not receive treatment.
MEASUREMENTS: Abdominal ultrasonography, computed tomography, and determination of blood biochemical measures.
RESULTS: Of the 49 patients treated with interferon, 21 showed a sustained biochemical response and 14 showed a sustained virologic response. The rate of first recurrence of new foci of hepatocellular carcinoma was similar in patients treated with interferon and untreated patients; however, the rates of second or third recurrence seemed to be lower in the interferon group than in the untreated group. Patients treated with interferon had a survival rate of 68% at 5 years and 53% at 7 years; untreated patients had a survival rate of 48% at 5 years and 23% at 7 years.
CONCLUSION: After tumor ablation by ethanol injection, interferon therapy may enhance patient survival in selected patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Department of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan. shirato@cc.okayama-u.ac.jp