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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Chemotherapy

Question: "cheotherapy suggested when suffering from hepatitis c?"

 kashika - Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:51 am

my grandmother is suffering from hepatitis c,liver cehrossis and lymphoma(has been recently detected).Is there any treatment for such a patient?should we start chemotherapy at this stage?Will chemotheraphy activate the hepatitis c virus??please suggest a treatment for the same as soon as possible.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:11 pm

User avatar Hi,
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation has been observed as a frequent complication in inactive HBV carriers at time of chemotherapy or post-chemotherapy. This is a severe complication frequently seen in patients with lymphomas.(Lamivudine have efficacy to treat the patients once the clinical disease is apparent. Lamivudine prophylaxis beginning before chemotherapy and until at least for 6 months after the end of chemotherapy is recommended for all HBV carriers).

It appears that effects of cancer chemotherapy in patients with HBV infections has been better studied and more well known than in HCV infections.

Some studies have observed that Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (which often goes undiagnosed in asymptomatic carriers), may become clinically relevant during periods of immunosuppression or severe illness. There have been some reports showing the significance of HCV infection in patients being treated with chemotherapy.

Some researchers have found that chemotherapy dose delays or need for dose reductions occurred in those with Hepatitis C:

Liver disease affects cancer chemotherapy by
- Poor drug metabolism and
– myelosuppression,
leading to poorer outcomes.

The current treatment standard for Hepatitis C (interferon and ribavirin combination therapy) is also known to initiate myelosuppression. With decreases in bone marrow activity, recovery becomes a huge challenge.

Experts in this field have suggested that more integration between the fields of hepatology and oncology will be necessary in the management of such patients - thus improving outcomes.
Best wishes!

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