Gastroenterology/Multivisceral Transplant Unit, Department of Surgery, Oncology, and Gastroenterology, Padova University Hospital, 35128 Padova, Italy.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major causes of cancer-related death. Although the burden of alcohol- and NASH-related HCC is growing, chronic viral hepatitis (HBV and HCV) remains a major cause of HCC development worldwide. The pathophysiology of viral-related HCC includes liver inflammation, oxidative stress, and deregulation of cell signaling pathways. HBV is particularly oncogenic because, contrary to HCV, integrates in the cell DNA and persists despite virological suppression by nucleotide analogues. Surveillance by six-month ultrasound is recommended in patients with cirrhosis and in "high-risk" patients with chronic HBV infection. Antiviral therapy reduces the risks of development and recurrence of HCC; however, patients with advanced chronic liver disease remain at risk of HCC despite virological suppression/cure and should therefore continue surveillance. Multiple scores have been developed in patients with chronic hepatitis B to predict the risk of HCC development and may be used to stratify individual patient's risk. In patients with HCV-related liver disease who achieve sustained virological response by direct acting antivirals, there is a strong need for markers/scores to predict long-term risk of HCC. In this review, we discuss the most recent advances regarding viral-related HCC.