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Decreased hepatocellular carcinoma tumor burden with the achievement of hepatitis C virus sustained virologic response: unlocking the potential of T-cell-mediated immunosurveillance

Authors Griffith AS, Hayashi PH, Burke LMB, McRee AJ

Received 26 September 2017

Accepted for publication 26 March 2018

Published 31 May 2018 Volume 2018:5 Pages 55—59

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JHC.S152569

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ahmed O. Kaseb


Anna S Griffith,1 Paul H Hayashi,1 Lauren MB Burke,2 Autumn J McRee1

1Department of Medicine, 2Department of Radiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Abstract: We describe two cases of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) treated with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy who had dramatic improvement in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumor burden with DAA therapy alone. Both patients were diagnosed with HCC on screening magnetic resonance imaging shortly after beginning DAA therapy. Both patients achieved sustained virologic response (SVR) with dramatic improvement in HCC tumor burden on follow-up imaging without HCC treatment. Patients with multifocal or advanced HCC are infrequently treated with antiviral therapy for HCV. As a result, these cases provide unique insight into the ongoing debate regarding the impact of SVR on existing and recurrent HCC. We review the current literature regarding this debate, as well as the theory of immunosurveillance. We postulate that DAA therapy activates CD8+ T cells to induce a T-cell-mediated response and increased immunosurveillance to virus-induced liver cancer.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatitis C virus, sustained virologic response, direct-acting antiviral, T-cell-mediated immunosurveillance

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