People living with HIV have high survival rates after liver transplants due to HCC

Published: November 12, 2014

Liz Highleyman
Original Article:

People with HIV – most of whom had hepatitis B or C co-infection – generally had good outcomes after liver transplantation due to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with five-year survival rates similar to those of HIV-negative transplant recipients and better than those of people who underwent other types of liver cancer treatment, researchers reported this week at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting in Boston, USA.

People living with HIV often have hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection and tend to experience more rapid liver disease progression. Traditionally, people living with HIV were not considered good candidates for liver transplants due to concern that immunosuppressant drugs used to prevent organ rejection might worsen HIV-related immune suppression and interact with antiretroviral medications. With improvements in antiretroviral therapy and a move to earlier treatment, however, many people with HIV are in overall good health with well-preserved immune function.

Heather Platt from Columbia University Medical Center and colleagues performed a retrospective analysis of orthotopic liver transplantation among people living with HIV who had HCC, a type of liver cancer that can occur in people with chronic viral hepatitis, especially those who progress to cirrhosis.

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