Background: Despite HCV cure, patients remain at risk for HCC, but risk factor data for HCC following SVR are limited for Asian patients. Methods: To address this gap, we analyzed 5814 patients (5646 SVR, 168 non-SVR) from the Real-World Evidence from the Asia Liver Consortium for HCV (REAL-C) who did not have HCC or a history of HCC at baseline (pre-DAA treatment) and did not develop HCC within 6 months of baseline. To assess the effect of SVR on HCC incidence, we used 1:4 propensity score matching [(PSM), age, sex, baseline cirrhosis, and baseline AFP] to balance the SVR and non-SVR groups. Results: In the PSM cohort (160 non-SVR and 612 SVR), the HCC incidence rate per 100 person years was higher in the non-SVR compared to the SVR group (5.26 vs. 1.94, p < 0.001). Achieving SVR was independently associated with decreased HCC risk (adjusted HR [aHR]: 0.41, p = 0.002). Next, we stratified the SVR cohort of 5646 patients to cirrhotic and noncirrhotic subgroups. Among cirrhotic SVR patients, aged ≥ 60, having an albumin bilirubin grade (ALBI) of 2 or 3 (aHR: 2.5, p < 0.001), and baseline AFP ≥ 10 ng/mL (aHR: 1.6, p = 0.001) were associated with higher HCC risk, while among the non-cirrhotic SVR group, only baseline AFP ≥ 10 ng/mL was significant (aHR: 4.26, p = 0.005). Conclusions: Achieving SVR decreases HCC risk; however, among East Asians, patients with elevated pretreatment AFP remained at risk. Pretreatment AFP, an easily obtained serum marker, may provide both prognostic and surveillance value for HCC in East Asian patients who obtained SVR.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes