Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains one of the most common malignancies and the third cause of cancer-related death worldwide, with surgery being the best prognostic tool. Among the well-known causative factors of HCC are chronic liver virus infections, chronic virus hepatitis B (HBV) and chronic hepatitis virus C (HCV), aflatoxins, tobacco consumption, and non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD). There is a need for the development of efficient molecular markers and alternative therapeutic targets of great significance. In this review, we describe the general characteristics of HCC and present a variety of targeted therapies that resulted in progress in HCC therapy.
Subject(s)Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Hepatitis B, Chronic , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Liver Neoplasms , Humans , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/drug therapy , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/etiology , Liver Neoplasms/pathology , Hepatitis B, Chronic/complications , Hepacivirus , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications
Coinfection with hepatitis viruses A to E is frequent in persons living with HIV (PLWH) and causes significant morbidity and mortality. Oro-fecal transmissible hepatitis A and E mostly produce acute self-limited episodes in poor income regions and in non-vaccinated travelers. In high-income countries, outbreaks of hepatitis A occur in men having sex with men (MSM) and chronic hepatitis E is occasionally reported among PLWH with severe immunodeficiency. Chronic hepatitis B, C, and D are frequent in PLWH in highly endemic regions and globally in persons who inject drugs (PWID) and MSM. Progression to liver cirrhosis and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is major clinical complications in coinfected patients. Current estimates for PLWH are of 38 million worldwide. Roughly 12% have chronic viral hepatitis (5 million). Coinfection figures are of 5-10% for HBV (2-4 million), 4% for HCV (1.5 million), and 15% of HBsAg+ for HDV (0.5 million). Oral direct-acting antivirals (DAA) cure almost all treated patients with hepatitis C. However, given that there is no protective HCV immunity, PLWH with high-risk behaviors may experience HCV reinfection episodes. Tenofovir is the drug of choice in PLWH with chronic hepatitis B, given its dual effect on HIV and HBV. Lifelong oral tenofovir suppresses HBV replication and ameliorate liver damage. However, the risk of HCC persists even in the absence of cirrhosis. Finally, HDV causes the worst of viral hepatitis with faster progression to cirrhosis and HCC. An entry inhibitor, bulevirtide, has recently been approved and another drug, lonafarnib, is completing Phase 3 trials. Combination antiviral therapy for hepatitis D could improve dramatically the poor prognosis of HIV-HDV coinfected patients. The resumption of good medical practices in PLWH after the big disruption caused by COVID-19 will reduce the burden of viral hepatitis coinfections. Renewed efforts on HAV and HBV vaccination of susceptible individuals and earlier and wider prescription of antiviral therapy for HBV, HCV, and/or HDV coinfection should be prioritized in PLWH. The benefits of innovative strategies for viral hepatitis, including pre-exposure prophylaxis or use of long-acting antivirals, warrant further consideration in PLWH.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Coinfection , Drug Users , HIV Infections , Hepatitis A , Hepatitis B, Chronic , Hepatitis B , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C , Liver Neoplasms , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Substance Abuse, Intravenous , Male , Humans , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/etiology , Hepatitis B, Chronic/complications , Homosexuality, Male , Coinfection/drug therapy , Coinfection/epidemiology , Coinfection/complications , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/complications , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis C/drug therapy , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Tenofovir/therapeutic use , Hepatitis B/drug therapy
Objective This retrospective, single-center study assessed the effects of interferon (IFN)-free treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, which has been approved for seven years; calculated the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after achieving a sustained virologic response (SVR); and elucidated problems with follow-up for surveillance of post-SVR HCC, particularly the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods We summarized the SVR achievement rate of 286 HCV-infected patients who received 301 IFN-free treatments and analyzed the cumulative incidence of initial HCC and the cumulative continuation rate of follow-up after SVR in the 253 patients who achieved SVR and did not have a history of HCC. Results Among 286 patients who received IFN-free treatments, 14 dropped out, and the 272 remaining patients achieved an SVR after receiving up to third-line treatment. Post-SVR HCC occurred in 18 (7.1%) of the 253 patients without a history of HCC, with a cumulative incidence at 3 and 5 years after SVR of 6.6% and 10.0%, respectively; the incidence of cirrhosis at those time points was 18.2% and 24.6%, respectively.Of the 253 patients analyzed, 58 (22.9%) discontinued follow-up after SVR. Patients who had no experience with IFN-based therapy tended to drop out after SVR. Notably, the number of dropouts per month has increased since the start of the pandemic. Conclusion Currently, IFN-free treatment is showing great efficacy. However, the incidence of HCC after SVR should continue to be monitored. In this study, the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect treatment outcomes, but it may affect surveillance for post-SVR HCC.
Subject(s)Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Liver Neoplasms , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/virology , Hepacivirus , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Interferons/therapeutic use , Liver Neoplasms/epidemiology , Liver Neoplasms/virology , Patient Dropouts , Retrospective Studies , Sustained Virologic Response
BACKGROUND: Eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) from chronic HCV-infected patients could improve liver function and prevent hepatocarcinogenesis in the long term. Eradication of HCV by direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) also leads to dynamic immunological changes. We report a case of recurrent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that developed immediately after combination treatment with DAAs for HCV infection and decompensated cirrhosis. CASE REPORT: A 55-year-old male was started on a 12-week treatment with combination of HCV NS5A inhibitor velpatasvir and HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir. HCV RNA became undetectable after six weeks of treatment and was undetectable at the end of the treatment (EOT). Twelve days after the EOT, we diagnosed the patient with COVID-19 pneumonia, admitted him to our hospital and he was discharged two weeks later. One week after his discharge, he visited our hospital again, was diagnosed with recurrent COVID-19 pneumonia readmitted for a second time. Four days after second admission, cardiac arrest occurred, however, he recovered from severe COVID-19 and achieved sustained virological response and his liver function improved. CONCLUSION: In the COVID-19 era, while attention should be paid to the occurrence or exacerbation of infection, including COVID-19, interferon-free DAA combination therapy should be performed for HCV-infected individuals.
Subject(s)COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C , Antiviral Agents , Drug Therapy, Combination , Genotype , Hepacivirus/genetics , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome
BACKGROUND: Chronic liver disease, particularly cirrhosis, is associated with worse outcomes in patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). AIM: To assess outcomes of COVID-19 infection among patients with pre-existing hepatitis C with or without liver cirrhosis. METHODS: This multicenter, retrospective cohort study included all cases of confirmed co-infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and chronic hepatitis C with or without liver cirrhosis who were admitted to six hospitals (Al-Sahel Hospital, Al-Matareya Hospital, Al-Ahrar Hospital, Ahmed Maher Teaching Hospital, Al-Gomhoreya Hospital, and the National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute) affiliated with the General Organization for Teaching Hospitals and Institutes in Egypt. Patients were recruited from May 1, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Demographic, laboratory, imaging features, and outcomes were collected. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to detect factors affecting mortality. RESULTS: This retrospective cohort study included 125 patients with chronic hepatitis C and COVID-19 co-infection, of which 64 (51.20%) had liver cirrhosis and 40 (32.00%) died. Fever, cough, dyspnea, and fatigue were the most frequent symptoms in patients with liver cirrhosis. Cough, sore throat, fatigue, myalgia, and diarrhea were significantly more common in patients with liver cirrhosis than in non-cirrhotic patients. There was no difference between patients with and without cirrhosis regarding comorbidities. Fifteen patients (23.40%) with liver cirrhosis presented with hepatic encephalopathy. Patients with liver cirrhosis were more likely than non-cirrhotic patients to have combined ground-glass opacities and consolidations in CT chest scans: 28 (43.75%) vs 4 (6.55%), respectively (P value < 0.001). These patients also were more likely to have severe COVID-19 infection, compared to patients without liver cirrhosis: 29 (45.31%) vs 11 (18.04%), respectively (P value < 0.003). Mortality was higher in patients with liver cirrhosis, compared to those with no cirrhosis: 33 (51.56%) vs 9 (14.75%), respectively (P value < 0.001). All patients in Child-Pugh class A recovered and were discharged. Cirrhotic mortality occurred among decompensated patients only. A multivariate regression analysis revealed the following independent factors affecting mortality: Male gender (OR 7.17, 95%CI: 2.19-23.51; P value = 0.001), diabetes mellitus (OR 4.03, 95%CI: 1.49-10.91; P value = 0.006), and liver cirrhosis (OR 1.103, 95%CI: 1.037-1.282; P value < 0.0001). We found no differences in liver function, COVID-19 disease severity, or outcomes between patients who previously received direct-acting antiviral therapy (and achieved sustained virological response) and patients who did not receive this therapy. CONCLUSION: Patients with liver cirrhosis are susceptible to higher severity and mortality if infected with COVID-19. Male gender, diabetes mellitus, and liver cirrhosis are independent factors associated with increased mortality risk.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Coinfection , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Coinfection/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Liver Cirrhosis/epidemiology , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
BACKGROUND/AIM: Liver injury has been frequently reported in association with SARS-CoV-2 infection, but data are still lacking regarding the impact of pre-existing liver damage and neoplasia on SARS-CoV-2 infection outcome and vice-versa. This study aimed to assess the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients, both in therapeutic-naïve and patients treated with direct acting antivirals. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study on 21 patients with a personal history of HCV infection, that have been diagnosed with different forms of HCC and who were subsequently infected with SARS-CoV-2. Patients were monitored by liver function tests, tumoral markers, blood cell count, and coagulation profile periodically. RESULTS: Solitary HCC nodules were predominant among the subjects who achieved sustained virologic response, while multinodular and infiltrative patterns were mostly prevalent among the treatment-naïve group. Most patients had mild and moderate COVID-19 infections. CONCLUSION: Within the current global pandemic crisis, cancer patients are highly vulnerable and in need of constant monitoring. Among patients with HCC, the ones with cured HCV infection may be at a lower risk of fatality than those with active HCV infection, when diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C , Liver Neoplasms , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/complications , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/drug therapy , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/epidemiology , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Liver Neoplasms/complications , Liver Neoplasms/drug therapy , Liver Neoplasms/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Background and Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing public health emergency. Patients with chronic diseases are at greater risk for complications and poor outcomes. The objective of this study was to investigate the liver function abnormalities and clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 and chronic hepatitis C. Materials and Methods: This retrospective, single-center study was conducted on a cohort of 126 patients with a history of hepatitis C, confirmed with COVID-19 between 01 April 2020 and 30 December 2020. Several clinical outcomes were compared between patients with active and non-active HCV infection, and the risks of liver impairment and all-cause mortality in active HCV patients were analyzed using a multivariate logistic regression model. Results: Among 1057 patients under follow-up for chronic HCV infection, 126 (11.9%) were confirmed with COVID-19; of these, 95 (75.4%) were under treatment or achieved SVR, while in the other 31 (24.6%), we found active HCV replication. There was a significantly higher proportion of severe COVID-19 cases in the active HCV group as compared to the non-active HCV group (32.2 vs. 7.3%, p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that age, sex, alanine aminotransferase, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and HCV viral load were significant independent risk factors for liver impairment and all-cause mortality. The length of stay in hospital and intensive care unit for COVID-19 was significantly higher in patients with active HCV infection (p-value < 0.001), and a higher proportion of these patients required mechanical ventilation. Conclusions: Active HCV infection is an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality in COVID-19 patients.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Hepatitis C, Chronic/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP) is an apheretic technique that selectively removes high molecular weight substances using a plasma component filter. DFPP has been used to treat positive-sense RNA virus infections, mainly chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, because of its ability to directly eliminate viral particles from blood plasma from 2008 to about 2015, before direct-acting antiviral agents was marketed. This effect has been termed virus removal and eradication by DFPP. HCV is a positive-sense RNA virus similar to West Nile virus, dengue virus and the SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses. SARS-CoV-2 is classified same viral species. These viruses are all classified in Family Flaviviridae which are family of single-stranded plus-stranded RNA viruses. Viral particles are 40-60 nm in diameter, enveloped and spherical in shape. We present a rare case of HCV removal where an RNA virus infection that copresented with virus-associated autoimmune hepatitis was eliminated using DFPP. Our results indicate that DFPP may facilitate prompt viraemia reduction and may have novel treatment applications for SARS-CoV-2, that is, use of therapeutic plasma exchange for fulminant COVID-19.
Subject(s)Coinfection/therapy , Coinfection/virology , Hepatitis C, Chronic/therapy , Hepatitis, Autoimmune/therapy , Plasmapheresis/methods , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Hepatitis, Autoimmune/complications , Humans , Interferon alpha-2/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , Polyethylene Glycols/therapeutic use , Positive-Strand RNA Viruses/isolation & purification , Ribavirin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load
Subject(s)Anemia, Hemolytic/etiology , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Complement Inactivating Agents/therapeutic use , Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , COVID-19/blood , Complement Inactivating Agents/pharmacology , Female , Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal/blood , Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal/complications , Hepatitis C, Chronic/complications , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Inflammation/etiology , Pancytopenia/etiology , Recurrence
In this paper, we aim to provide professional guidance to clinicians who are managing patients with chronic liver disease during the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Singapore. We reviewed and summarised the available relevant published data on liver disease in COVID-19 and the advisory statements that were issued by major professional bodies, such as the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and European Association for the Study of the Liver, contextualising the recommendations to our local situation.