Preliminary reports have suggested that survivors of childhood cancer and aplastic anemia who are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have a low risk for progression to significant liver disease. Among our surviving patients who were transfused between 1961 and March 1992, 77 (6.6% of surviving patients tested thus far) have evidence of HCV infection, whereas 4 surviving patients who were transfused after March 1992 are HCV-infected. One patient chronically infected with HCV died of liver failure, and 2 patients died of hepatocellular carcinoma. To characterize the risk for these and other complications, 65 patients are enrolled in a longitudinal study of HCV infection, of whom 58 (89.2%) had circulating HCV RNA at the time of protocol enrollment, with genotypes 1A and 1B most commonly isolated. Most enrolled patients have few or no symptoms, carry out normal activities, and have normal liver function. To date, 35 patients have undergone liver biopsy for abnormal liver function since the diagnosis of primary malignancy; central pathology review shows 28 (80%) have chronic active hepatitis, 25 (71%) have fibrosis, and 3 (9%) have cirrhosis. These preliminary data suggest that though most survivors of childhood cancer who are infected with HCV are clinically well, some are at risk for clinically significant liver disease. Identification of other HCV-infected patients and prospective monitoring of this cohort are ongoing to determine the risk for, and to identify factors associated with the progression of, liver disease. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - May 15 2000|