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World J Gastroenterol. Dec 21, 2013; 19(47): 8861-8866
Published online Dec 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i47.8861
Anti-viral therapy to reduce recurrence and improve survival in hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma
Toru Ishikawa
Toru Ishikawa, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Saiseikai Niigata Daini Hospital, Niigata 950-1104, Japan
Author contributions: Ishikawa T collected the materials and wrote the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Toru Ishikawa, MD, PhD, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Saiseikai Niigata Daini Hospital, 280-7 Teraji, Niigata 950-1104, Japan.
Telephone: +81-25-2336161 Fax: +81-25-2338880
Received: August 29, 2013
Revised: October 29, 2013
Accepted: November 28, 2013
Published online: December 21, 2013

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common malignancy and the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus accounts for approximately 75%-80% of HCC cases worldwide. In particular, chronic HBV infection is a predominant risk factor for HCC in Asia and Africa. Hepatic resection and radiofrequency ablation are increasingly used for the curative treatment of HCC, and good local control can be achieved. However, the high rate of recurrence is a major obstacle to improving prognosis. A high viral load of HBV DNA is the most important correctable risk factor for recurrence. Furthermore, interferon and/or nucleotide analogues may decrease HBV DNA. Therefore, these drugs may decrease recurrence. In this article, treatment strategies for HBV-related HCC are described in order to reduce recurrence and improve survival.

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, Hepatitis B virus, Recurrence, Nucleotide analogues, Interferon

Core tip: Recent advances in treatment modalities have improved the survival rate of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC has a much higher recurrence rate. In this article, we describe strategies for reducing recurrent HCC using anti-viral therapy for HBV infection.