Provider Attitudes and Practice Patterns for Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapy for Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

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Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are effective against hepatitis C virus and sustained virologic response is associated with reduced incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, there is controversy over the use of DAAs in patients with active or treated HCC and uncertainty about optimal management of these patients. We aimed to characterize attitudes and practice patterns of hepatology practitioners in the United States regarding the use of DAAs in patients with HCC.

METHODS: We conducted a survey of hepatology providers at 47 tertiary care centers in 25 states. Surveys were sent to 476 providers and we received 279 responses (58.6%).

RESULTS: Provider beliefs about risk of HCC recurrence after DAA therapy varied: 48% responded that DAAs reduce risk, 36% responded that DAAs do not change risk, and 16% responded that DAAs increase risk of HCC recurrence. However, most providers believed DAAs to be beneficial to and reduce mortality of patients with complete responses to HCC treatment. Accordingly, nearly all providers (94.9%) reported recommending DAA therapy to patients with early-stage HCC who received curative treatment. However, fewer providers recommended DAA therapy for patients with intermediate (72.9%) or advanced (57.5%) HCC undergoing palliative therapies. Timing of DAA initiation varied among providers based on HCC treatment modality: 49.1% of providers reported they would initiate DAA therapy within 3 months of surgical resection whereas 45.9% and 5.0% would delay DAA initiation for 3-12 months and >1 year post-surgery, respectively. For patients undergoing transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), 42.0% of providers would provide DAAs within 3 months of the procedure, 46.7% would delay DAAs until 3-12 months afterward, and 11.3% would delay DAAs more than 1 year after TACE.

CONCLUSION: Based on a survey sent to hepatology providers, there is variation in provider attitudes and practice patterns regarding use and timing of DAAs for patients with HCC. Further studies are needed to characterize the risks and benefits of DAA therapy in this patient population.

Clinical Institute







Swedish Digestive Health Institute