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Antiviral therapy may lower risk of liver cancer

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Beijing, June 25 (IANS) Antiviral therapy can reduce the risk of liver cancer in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection, researchers have found.

The licensed oral antiviral agent nucleos(t)ide (NUC) resulted in a reduced long term risk for liver cancer chronic hepatitis B patients, the findings showed.

"Our findings suggest that NUC use reduces the risk of liver cancer in chronic hepatitis B patients, particularly in younger patients with minimal liver damage," said Chun-Ying Wu from National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan.

This study analysed the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, in patients treated with several different agents.

The NUC-treated cohort had a significantly lower seven-year incidence of liver cancer compared with a control group.

Liver cancer among hepatitis B patients causes approximately 745,000 deaths worldwide each year.

The findings appeared in the journal Gastroenterology.