- 1Department of General Surgery, Yan'An Hospital Affiliated to Kunming Medical University, The Key Laboratory of Tumor Immunological Prevention and Treatment of Yunnan Province, Kunming, China.
- 2Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Guangxi Medical University Cancer Hospital, Nanning, China.
- 3Department of Gastroenterology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, General Hospitalof Athens "Laiko", Athens, Greece.
Background and aim: Previous smaller meta-analyses comparing the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients treated with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) versus entecavir (ETV) provided controversial results. This updated meta-analysis aimed to reliably identify any difference in the HCC incidence between TDF-treated or ETV-treated CHB patients in general or in specific subgroups.
Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library were systematically searched for relevant studies with hazard ratios (HRs) for HCC between TDF-treated and ETV-treated CHB patients. Retrieved dates ranged from January 2009 to October 2021. HRs with or without adjustment were pooled with random-effects model.
Results: Twenty-four comparative studies involving 37 771 CHB patients treated with TDF and 72 094 treated with ETV were included. TDF was associated with lower risk of HCC compared with ETV, with pooled unadjusted HR of 0.76 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.67-0.86) (24 studies) and adjusted HR of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.72-0.91) (21 studies). In propensity score matching cohorts, the TDF superiority was confirmed for unadjusted HR 0.83 (95% CI: 0.71-0.97) (14 studies) and was close to significance for adjusted HR (0.78, 95% CI: 0.58-1.04) (8 studies). Subgroup analyses showed that TDF was associated with lower HCC risk than ETV treatment in CHB patients who were from Asia (adjusted HR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.66-0.87; 15 studies) or nucleos(t)ide naïve (adjusted HR:0.74, 95% CI: 0.65-0.84; 18 studies).
Conclusion: Current evidence from a sizable population suggests that TDF is associated with significantly lower HCC risk compared with ETV treatment in patients who are from Asia and/or nucleos(t)ide naïve.