Treatment for viral hepatitis as secondary prevention for hepatocellular carcinoma

Saleh A. Alqahtani, Massimo Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic infections with either hepatitis B or C virus (HBV or HCV) are among the most common risk factors for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The hepatocarcinogenic potential of these viruses is mediated through a wide range of mechanisms, including the induction of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress and the deregulation of cellular pathways by viral proteins. Over the last decade, effective anti-viral agents have made sustained viral suppression or cure a feasible treatment objective for most chronic HBV/HCV patients. Given the tumorigenic potential of HBV/HCV, it is no surprise that obtaining sustained viral suppression or eradication proves to be effective in preventing HCC. This review summarizes the mechanisms by which HCV and HBV exert their hepatocarcinogenic activity and describes in detail the efficacy of anti-HBV and anti-HCV therapies in terms of HCC prevention. Although these treatments significantly reduce the risk for HCC in patients with chronic viral hepatitis, this risk is not eliminated. Therefore, we evaluate potential strategies to improve these outcomes further and address some of the remaining controversies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3091
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • HBC
  • HCC
  • HCV
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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