The Impact of the Hepatitis B Core Antibody Status on Recurrence in Patients with Non-B Non-C Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Curative Surgery

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Background: The serum antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAb) is considered a risk factor of liver carcinogenesis. This study aimed to reveal whether HBcAb status is a prognostic factor after hepatectomy is performed for treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: This retrospective study enrolled 272 patients who underwent hepatectomy as the initial treatment for HCC and who were followed up over 5 years after surgery. The types of HCC were classified into the following 3 types according to the hepatitis virus infection status and the patients without hepatitis virus infection non-B non-C HCC (NBNC-HCC) were further classified into 2 groups. Results: There is no novel finding as a result of the comparison made among hepatitis virus status. Of 90 patients (33.1%) with NBNC-HCC, 10 patients were excluded because the preoperative HBcAb status was not measured. There were 51 patients (63.8%) who were HBcAb-positive and 29 patients (36.2%) who were HBcAb-negative. In multivariate analysis, the presence of HBcAb-negative (hazard ratio 2.10, 95% CI 1.09-4.03, p = 0.026) remained as significant independent risk factors for recurrence in NBNC-HCC. Conclusions: This study shows that the HBcAb-positive is rather a favorable predictor for recurrence after curative resection in NBNC-HCC.

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