Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major problem worldwide, with 230 million reported cases, including 2.7 to 3.9 million cases (1.0%–1.5%) in the United States.1 The prevalence rates for HCV infection in patients with cancer range from 1.5% to 32%.2 Although HCV infection in this patient population is common, little is known about its management, and many oncologists remain unaware of current treatment options. Education of medical staff and the coordination of different specialties are essential to provide the appropriate patient stratification and best therapeutic approach to treating HCV infection in patients with cancer in the context of multiple comorbidities. Therefore, this special population of patients needs guided treatment and constant supervision. This commentary highlights the importance of treating HCV infection in patients with cancer and describes the educational experience with a transdisciplinary approach to treatment gained at our HCV infection clinic, the first clinic in the United States devoted to managing this infection in patients with cancer.3
The authors thank Don Norwood for editorial assistance.
AASLD/IDSA/IAS-USA. Recommendations for testing, managing and treating hepatitis C. Available at http://www.hcvguidelines.org. Accessed February 26 2016.
Torres HA, Mahale P, Blechacz B et al.. Effect of hepatitis C virus infection in patients with cancer: addressing a neglected population J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2015;13:41–50.
Torres HA, Adachi JA, Roach LR et al.. Hepatitis C clinic operated by infectious disease specialists at a comprehensive cancer center: help is on the way. Clin Infect Dis 2012;54:740–742.
Locasciulli A, Alberti A. Hepatitis C virus serum markers and liver disease in children with leukemia. Leuk lymphoma 1995;17:245–249.
Torres HA, Kaseb A, Mahale P et al.. Telaprevir-containing regimen for treatment of hepatitis C virus infection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma awaiting liver transplantation: a case series. J Hepatocellular Carcinoma 2014;1:109–114.
Mahale P, Kontoyiannis DP, Chemaly RF et al.. Acute exacerbation and reactivation of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in cancer patients. J Hepatol 2012;57:1177–1185.
Borchardt RA, Torres HA. Challenges in managing hepatitis C virus infection in cancer patients. World J Gastroenterol 2014;20:2771–2776.
Peveling-Oberhag J, Arcaini L, Hansmann ML, Zeuzem S. Hepatitis C-associated B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas: epidemiology, molecular signature and clinical management. J Hepatol 2013;59:169–177.
Arcaini L, Vallisa D, Rattotti S et al.. Antiviral treatment in patients with indolent B-cell lymphomas associated with HCV infection: a study of the Fondazione Italiana Linfomi. Ann Oncol 2014;25:1404–1410.
Kyvernitakis A, Mahale P, Popat UR et al.. Hepatitis C virus infection in patients undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation in the era of direct-acting antiviral agents. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2016;22:717–722.
Klingemann HG, Grigg AP, Wilkie-Boyd K et al.. Treatment with recombinant interferon (alpha-2b) early after bone marrow transplantation in patients at high risk for relapse. Blood 1991;78:3306–3311.
Torres HA, McDonald GB. How we treat hepatitis C virus infection in patients with hematologic malignancies [published online ahead of print]. Blood, pii: blood-2016-05-718643.
Torres HA, Chong PP, De Lima M et al.. Hepatitis C virus infection among hematopoietic cell transplant donors and recipients: American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Task Force Recommendations. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2015;21:1870–1882.
Arora S, Thornton K, Murata G et al.. Outcomes of treatment for hepatitis C virus infection by primary care providers. N Engl J Med 2011;364:2199–2207.