Clearance of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Is Associated With Improved Outcomes in HCV-Associated Lymphoma


Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2020 Oct 2:S2152-2650(20)30549-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2020.09.011. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Improved hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance due to directly acting antiviral agents has led to remarkably improved outcomes of indolent HCV-associated non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The impact of directly acting antivirals on the outcomes of aggressive NHL is still under investigation. Characteristics of HCV-associated NHL in black patients are not well characterized. We report outcomes of HCV-associated NHL compared to their HCV-negative counterparts in a predominantly black population.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with lymphoma between January 2007 and December 2017 were retrospectively studied. Depending on presence or absence of HCV RNA, patients were grouped into HCV positive (HCV+) and HCV negative (HCV-) cohorts. Depending on virologic clearance (VC), HCV+ were classified into HCV+ with VC and HCV+ without VC. Overall response rate (ORR), complete response, overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) of HCV+ patients with and without VC were compared to HCV- patients.

RESULTS: Of 397 patients with lymphoma, 40 had HCV. Black comprised 90% of HCV+ patients. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was most frequent (47%) in the HCV+ group. HCV+ patients without VC had significantly worse OS and PFS compared to HCV- patients. There were no differences in ORR, complete response, PFS, and OS of HCV+ patients with VC and HCV- patients. These results were consistent in subgroups of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and aggressive lymphoma.

CONCLUSION: HCV clearance is positively associated with lymphoma outcomes in black patients. Patients who clear HCV have noninferior outcomes to HCV- patients, while those who fail to clear HCV have significantly worse outcomes.