New oral medications could substantially decrease some liver cancer rates

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A study presented at the Symposium on Clinical Oncology (CIO, Hollywood, USA) noted that the hepatitis C virus is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the USA. However, the study findings report that treatment regimens have improved in recent years.

“Since the virus is a major cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), it is prudent for interventional radiologists to be familiar with how better control and treatment of the virus will likely impact interventional radiology practice,” the authors wrote.

“A number of newer medications, such as Sofospubir and Sofospubir plus Ledipasvir, are now used in the USA to treat hepatitis C virus, which can lead to lower rates of hepatocellular carcinoma and potentially decreased procedural volumes over the next 10 years, the authors J Hoffman and colleagues from Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, USA, noted.

The authors told delegates that newer oral medications now used in the USA to treat the virus will likely result in a substantial decrease of rates of hepatocellular carcinoma, and a corresponding drop in the number of interventional oncology procedures needed to treat these patients.

Hoffman and colleagues reviewed important factors about hepatitis C virus such as its aetiology, association with hepatocellular carcinoma, and current role of antiviral medications to treat the virus.

They described the trends in the reporting of new cases and assessed the sales of newer antiviral medications. The trends were then extrapolated to show the incidence of hepatitis C virus -related cirrhosis and new cases in the USA over the next 10 years. These showed a projected decline in hepatitis C virus cases by 2030, and a corresponding slump in spending on infection with the virus by 2030.

“This provided interventional radiologists with projections as to how these medications will alter interventional radiology and interventional oncology practice over the next decade, including the impact of potential decrease in the number of hepatocellular carcinoma cases diagnosed in the USA, leading to changes in ablation and embolization volumes,” they write.