Hepatitis C Virus and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Pathogenetic Mechanisms and Impact of Direct-Acting Antivirals

Ivan Schietroma1, Giuseppe Corano Scheri1, *, Claudia Pinacchio1, Maura Statzu2, Arnolfo Petruzziello3, Vincenzo Vullo1
1 Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome, Italy
2 Department of Molecular Medicine, Laboratory of Virology, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome, Italy
3 Virology and Molecular Biology Unit, Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, IRCCS Fondazione G. Pascale, Naples, Italy

© 2018 Schietroma et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome, Italy; Tel: +393896943773; E-mail:



Globally, between 64 and 103 million people are chronically infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV), with more than 4.6 million people in the United States and is associated with more than 15.000 deaths annually. Chronic infection can result in cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.


Epidemiological studies have indicated that persistent infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major risk for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), mainly through chronic inflammation, cell deaths, and proliferation. Despite the new direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAA’s) being able to clear the HCV, HCC recurrence rate in these patients is still observed.


In this review we highlighted some aspects that could be involved in the onset of HCV-induced HCC such as immune system, viral factors and host genetics factors.

Moreover, we focused on some of the last reports about the effects of DAA’s on the HCV clearance and their potential implications in HCC recurrence.

Keywords: HCV, HCC, DAA’s, Immunity, Viral factors, Chronic infection.