News / Health

Antiviral Therapy Cuts Liver Cancer Risk in Hepatitis C patients

TEXT SIZE - +
Jessica Berman
Hepatitis C is one of the most common viral infections in the world and it increases the risk for liver cancer.  But researchers have discovered that treatment with antiviral drugs could cut in half the risk of developing the most common and deadly form of liver cancer.

There are close to 200 million people around the world who are infected with hepatitis C, or HCV, a viral disease that can be transmitted sexually or through contaminated blood transfusions.  The chronic, debilitating liver infection, which causes fatigue, muscle aches and jaundice, is a major risk factor for developing hepatocellular carcinoma - the most common form of liver cancer worldwide. Now, Danish researchers have found evidence that HCV patients who receive antiviral therapy not only have less inflammation but are also at significantly lower risk of developing liver cancer.

The researchers say patients who managed to keep the virus at bay with interferon drugs for six months were virtually cured, and the chances of a relapse and the development of cancer were very small.  Patients who cleared the Hepatitis C virus had an 85 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer.

In a group of 1174 patients who received no antiviral interferon treatment, 129 patients developed liver cancer.  In a similar-sized group of patients who WERE treated, only 81 developed liver cancer - equivalent to a reduction in cancer risk of 47 percent.  Both groups were monitored for between five and eight years.

Nina Kimer, a gastroenterologist at Copenhagen University, led the study. She says those who took the drugs but did not have a robust response also had a lower risk of developing cancer.

“We were not the first study to show this, but our findings definitely support this hypothesis that the non-responders to treatment are also protected when they are treated," said Kimer.

Kimer says the study's findings suggest early detection and treatment of hepatitis C is very important.

“If people come into [the] hospital with stomach aches, we do not just conclude one thing.  We try out many options.  So the disease is diagnosed earlier," she said.

Hepatitis C can lead to cancer by causing cirrhosis or scarring of the liver.

A study on the effectiveness of hepatitis C treatments in reducing liver cancer risk is published in the journal BMJ Open Editions.  

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid