Direct-acting antivirals (DAA) are now the mainstay of treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV); however, there is some controversy over whether use of DAAs for HCV, as compared with IFN-based regimens, leads to an increased risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. We investigated the association between use of DAAs and subsequent development of HCC in longitudinal data from patients with HCV from diverse backgrounds (various ages, ethnicities, and geographic regions) across the United States. The design was a retrospective study performed using medical and pharmacy claims from OptumLabs. HCV treatment exposure was categorized as DAA-only, DAA þIFN, any-DAA, or IFN-only. To account for confounding by indication, inverse probability of treatment weighting was performed. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We identified 5,781 patients with HCV with no history of HCC at baseline. Compared with IFN-only regimen, no significant increase in HCC risk was found for use of DAAonly (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.73-3.23), DAA þ IFN (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.51-2.06), or any-DAA (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.65-1.65). When stratified by sustained virological response (SVR), we noted a higher HCC risk for DAA-only among patients who achieved SVR post-treatment (HR, 7.53; 95% CI, 1.48-38.34), but the CIs were wide, which might be due to the small sample size of the subgroups. Among those who did not achieve SVR, no association was found for use of DAA-only (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.19-1.91). These findings do not provide compelling evidence for the conception that use of DAAs for HCV is associated with increased risk of HCC development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research