Incidence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Thalassemia Unit

Authors: Fragatou, Soso1; Tsourveloudis, Ioannis1; Manesis, George2

Source: Hemoglobin, Volume 34, Number 3, June 2010 , pp. 221-226(6)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), following liver cirrhosis as a complication of chronic hepatitis B or C viruses (HBV or HCV)and iron overload, has been reported in thalassemia patients. This study assessed HCC incidences, the role of iron and possible antitumor activity of chelators in 57 thalassemia major (TM) and nine thalassemia intermedia (TI) patients using deferoxamine (DFO) therapy. Antibodies against HCV were detected in 23/57 (40.4%) TM patients, chronic HCV and cirrhosis were diagnosed in 13/23 (56.5%), 7/12 did not respond to antiviral therapy and 2/7 progressed to HCC (incidence 2/57, 3.5%). Three (33.3%) TI patients with liver siderosis and fibrosis and late introduction of iron chelation developed HCC without a history of hepatitis. The incidence was higher in TI (p = 0.032). The main risk factor for HCC was HCV infection in TM patients but it was iron activity in TI patients. Iron chelation with DFO appeared to play a protective role.

Keywords: Chelating agents; Cirrhosis; Hepatitis C and B virus(es) (HCV and HBV); Hepatocellular carcinoma; Iron overload; Thalassemia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: 1Thalassaemia Unit, General Athens Hospital “G. Gennimatas”, Athens, Greece 2: 2“Ippokration” General Athens Hospital, Athens, Greece

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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