1Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Health Science and Technology, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Science and Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea; Department of Health, Behavior and Society and Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, United States of America.
We analyzed whether difference exist in the clinical manifestations and outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) according to the two major etiologies of HCC from a nationwide, population-based, random HCC registry.
Of the 31,521 new HCC cases registered at the Korea Central Cancer Registry between 2003 and 2005, 4,630 (14.7%) were randomly abstracted, and followed up until December 2011. Of those, 2,785 hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related and 447 hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related HCC patients were compared.
The mean annual incidence rates of HBV- and HCV-related HCC incidence per 100,000 persons were 20.8 and 4.9, respectively. The annual incidence rate of HBV-related HCC peaked at 50-59 age group (46.5 per 100,000 persons), while the annual incidence rate of HCV-related HCC increased gradually to the ≥70 year age group (13.2 per 100,000 persons). Large tumors (≥5 cm) and portal vein invasion at initial diagnosis were more frequent in HBV-related HCC, while multiple tumors were more frequent in HCV-related HCC. In outcome analysis, HBV-related HCC showed poorer survival than HCV-related HCC [median survival: 1.34 vs. 2.17 years, adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval): 0.88 (0.78-0.98), P = 0.03, adjusted for age, gender, Child-Pugh class, AJCC/mUICC stage, and initial treatment modality]. However, when divided according to the AJCC/mUICC stage, survival difference was observed only for those with AJCC/mUICC stage IV tumor, but not for AJCC/mUICC stage I, II or III tumors. The treatment outcome of each modality (resection, ablation, and transartherial chemoeombolization) was comparable between the two etiologies.
HBV-related and HCV-related HCC have clear differences in clinical manifestation, requiring different screening strategy according to etiology to optimize HCC surveillance in HBV-endemic area. However, etiology did not affect treatment outcomes and long-term survival within the same stage except for far advanced tumors.