Patients with hepatitis C virus who are successfully treated with direct-acting antiviral agents experience a dramatic reduction in their risk for liver cancer, new data show. However, the decrease is much lower for those diagnosed with cirrhosis before starting a DAA.

The risk for liver cancer after a sustained virologic response (SVR) is achieved is still above zero. As a result, the new data point to the need for cancer surveillance in at least some patients successfully treated for HCV, said Fasiha Kanwal, MD, a professor of gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, who helped lead the study.

“We believe clinicians should take risk factors into account when considering intervals of surveillance” in patients who achieve SVR after treatment, said Dr. Kanwal, who presented the data at the 2017 Digestive Disease Week (abstract 419).

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