Is There a Relationship Between Treatment With Direct Antiviral Agents for HCV Infection and the Development of Malignancies?

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Background and Aims:

Direct antiviral agents (DAAs) have become the treatment of choice for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. As these drugs are new, it is important to learn the adverse events of these drugs in the short and long terms. We report on 7 patients who developed malignancies during treatment with DAAs or a short time after finishing treatment.


We treated 133 patients with DAAs in our unit between January 2015 and June 2016, 100 (75%) of whom were treated with the combination of paritaprevir/ritonavir/ombitasvir with/without dasabuvir (PrOD). The distribution of HCV genotypes was as follow: G1b 114 (85.7%), G1a 3 (2.2%), G2 3 (2.2%), G3 10 (7.5%), G4 2 (1.5%). One hundred ten (82.7%) patients finished treatment. Adverse events were recorded during treatment and after finishing treatment. Efficacy was determined by assessment of serum HCV RNA.


We observed malignancies in 7 patients: 1 developed laryngeal carcinoma, 1 developed pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 1 developed oropharyngeal lymphoma, 1 developed recurrent aggressive transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder, 1 developed recurrent aggressive hepatocellular carcinoma, and 2 patients developed de novo hepatocellular carcinoma. All of these patients had advanced liver disease.


This report raises questions about DAAs and the possible development of malignancies. It will be important to look at large clinical trial data and real-world experience to determine if this relationship is real.

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