Published online May 7, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i17.2455
Revised: March 8, 2007
Accepted: March 12, 2007
Published online: May 7, 2007
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide due to the high prevalence of HCV infection and the high rate of HCC occurrence in patients with HCV cirrhosis. A striking increase in HCC incidence has been observed during the past decades in most industrialized countries, partly related to the growing number of patients infected by HCV. HCC is currently the main cause of death in patients with HCV-related cirrhosis, a fact that justifies screening as far as curative treatments apply only in patients with small tumors. As a whole, treatment options are similar in patients with cirrhosis whatever the cause. Chemoprevention could be also helpful in the near future. It is strongly suggested that antiviral treatment of HCV infection could prevent HCC occurrence, even in cirrhotic patients, mainly when a sustained virological response is obtained.