Serum alpha-fetoprotein levels during and after interferon therapy and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis C

Tamura, Yasushi; Yamagiwa, Satoshi; Aoki, Yohei; Kurita, So; Suda, Takeshi; Ohkoshi, Shogo; Nomoto, Minoru; Aoyagi, Yutaka; Niigata Liver Disease Study Group
November 2009
Digestive Diseases & Sciences;Nov2009, Vol. 54 Issue 11, p2530
Academic Journal
journal article
The association between serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels during and after interferon (IFN) therapy and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was evaluated in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). A total of 263 patients treated by IFN with or without ribavirin were enrolled in the study. Serum AFP levels during and after IFN therapy were investigated retrospectively, and statistical analysis was performed to identify the factors associated with HCC development. During IFN therapy, serum AFP levels significantly decreased, regardless of virologic response to treatment. Increased serum AFP levels (>or=10 ng/ml) at the end of IFN therapy (EOT) was a close-to-significant variable affecting the development of HCC (P = 0.057), and a significantly higher cumulative incidence of HCC was seen in patients with increased serum AFP levels at EOT (P = 0.021). Serum AFP level at EOT is a possible predictor of HCC in CHC patients after IFN therapy.


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