High preop hep B surface antigen levels predict HCC recurrence

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - High preoperative levels of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in patients with a low viral load predict an increased likelihood of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence after resection, Chinese researchers report.

"We are somewhat surprised by our results," Dr. Wei-ping Zhou from Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital in Shanghai told Reuters Health by email. "It is difficult to find a good marker that actually reflects the status of HBV infection and predicts postoperative prognosis in HCC patients with a low HBV-DNA load."

Patients with HBV DNA levels below 2,000 IU/mL are designated as being inactive or low-risk carriers, but even these patients have a high postoperative tumor recurrence rate.


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