Granel N, et al. Abstract OP095. Presented at: UEG Week; Oct. 3-5, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Granel reports receiving congress inscriptions from Eisai.
October 23, 2021
2 min read

Nurse-led screening may reduce risk for post-SVR liver cancer development


Granel N, et al. Abstract OP095. Presented at: UEG Week; Oct. 3-5, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Granel reports receiving congress inscriptions from Eisai.
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Adherence to nurse-led screening programs may be a helpful tool in reducing the risk for liver cancer in patients who have shown sustained virological response after hepatitis C, according to a presenter at UEG Week Virtual.

“The lifestyle changes habits in SVR patients after [direct-acting antivirals], such as a significant increase in alcohol consumption and increasing waist-hip ratio and BMI, [which] are well-known risk factors for liver disease and progression,” Núria Granel, a member of the nursing staff at Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer group, said during her presentation. “A very high adherence to a nurse-led liver cancer screening program could be a useful strategy to modulate lifestyle and reduce risk factors in these patients at risk of liver cancer development.”

From November 2015 to December 2016, researchers at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona enrolled patients with hepatitis C virus in their 12th week of SVR into the nurse-led liver cancer screening program with the aim of describing lifestyle change habits as well as evaluating screening adherence.

The study included 182 patients (median age, 69 years; 51.6% men) evaluated at baseline and every 6 months until cancer diagnosis, death or loss to follow-up. The researchers utilized lifestyle change questionnaires, liver ultrasounds, laboratory analysis and anthropometric measurements for evaluation. Screening adherence was determined by comparing the theoretical number of liver ultrasounds and the actual number of ultrasounds the patient had undergone.

Increased BMI was observed as early as 12 months and at all time points, while increased waist-hip ratio was observed at 18 months in men and at 30 months in women.

“About lifestyle changes, we observed a significant increase in the frequency of alcohol consumption in patients between 38 and 48 months of follow-up,” Granel said.

Physical activity was also reported as increasing significantly between 6 and 30 months of follow-up while no changes in coffee consumption were observed.

Adherence to the nurse-led liver cancer screening program was 96.7% at 1 year of follow-up and more than 80.2% after 4 years. During the 4 years of the screening program, eight patients developed hepatocellular carcinoma and 12 developed other types of cancer. The median time to HCC development was 30.7 months, Granel said.

A change in lifestyle habits may explain the development of liver cancer observed during long-term follow-up, while high adherence to the screening program may allow for its diagnosis in early stages.

“The eradication of the hepatitis C virus does not abolish the risk of liver cancer development. Several factors are associated with it after achieving a sustainable neurological response,” Granel said.