Adjuvant pegylated interferon therapy improves the survival outcomes in patients with hepatitis-related hepatocellular carcinoma after curative treatment: A meta-analysis

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Background:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men worldwide. Surgical resection of HCC remains the mainstay treatment procedure. As a result of hepatitis viral infection, the postoperative survival outcome in patients with HCC is not satisfactory. Recently, studies have reported that due to its treatment effect on hepatitis infection, pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN)-based therapy could improve the survival outcome after the treatment of hepatitis-related HCC. However, the postoperative effect of this regimen on the survival outcomes in patients with hepatitis-related HCC remains debatable. The present study conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of adjuvant Peg-IFN-based therapy on the survival outcomes in patients with hepatitis-related HCC after the curative treatment.Methods:A systematic search was conducted to identify studies on the survival outcomes in patients with hepatitis-related HCC after a curative treatment with adjuvant Peg-IFN. PubMed, EmBase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched until September 20, 2017. The retrieved studies were independently assessed by 2 reviewers, to identify the potentially eligible studies and extract data of interest. STATA software (Version 10.0, STATA Corporation, College Station, Texas) software was used for all statistical analyses.Results:The pooled results showed that adjuvant Peg-IFN-based therapy improved the 3- and 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates of patients with hepatitis-related HCC (3-year RFS, HR = 0.80; 95% CI: 0.64–0.99, P = .04; P = .81 for heterogeneity; 5-year RFS, HR = 0.82; 95% CI: 0.67–0.99, P = .04; P = .84 for heterogeneity). For the 5-year overall survival (OS) outcomes of Peg-IFN therapy for hepatitis-related HCC after the curative treatment, the pooled results showed a significant difference between the 2 groups (HR = 0.67; 95% CI: 0.47–0.97, P = .03; P = .99 for heterogeneity).Conclusions:Adjuvant Peg-IFN-based therapy could improve the RFS and OS outcomes in patients after curative treatment of hepatitis-related HCC, with no severe adverse effects.

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