Lymphoma, Other Cancers Linked to HCV

HOUSTON — Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is known to cause hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

A report published in the journal Cancer sought to determine associations between HCV and other cancers in the U.S. elderly population. The study was conducted using Medicare claims by a research team including participation from the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC in Houston.1

Results indicate that prevalence of HCV, which was higher in cases than in controls at 0.7% vs 0.5%, was positively associated with the following cancers:

  • liver, with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) pf 31.5,
  • intrahepatic bile duct (aOR, 3.40),
  • extrahepatic bile duct (aOR, 1.90),
  • pancreas (aOR, 1.23),
  • anus (aOR, 1.97)
  • nonmelanoma nonepithelial skin cancer (aOR, 1.53),
  • myelodysplastic syndrome (aOR, 1.56), and
  • diffuse large B-celllymphoma (aOR, 1.57).

Specific skin cancers found to be associated with HCV were Merkel cell carcinoma (aOR, 1.92) and appendageal skin cancers (aOR, 2.02).

Inverse associations were observed, however, with uterine cancer (aOR, 0.64) and prostate cancer (aOR, 0.73).

“HCV is associated with increased risk of cancers other than HCC in the US elderly population, notably bile duct cancers and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma,” study authors concluded. “These results support a possible etiologic role for HCV in an expanded group of cancers.”

  1. Mahale P, Torres HA, Kramer JR, Hwang LY, Li R, Brown EL, Engels EA. Hepatitis C virus infection and the risk of cancer among elderly US adults: A registry-based case-control study. Cancer. 2017 Apr 1;123(7):1202-1211. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30559. Epub 2017 Jan 24. PubMed PMID: 28117886.

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