Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Western countries. Metastatic liver disease more frequently develops metachronous metastasis following treatment of CRC. It was reported that hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection finally reduces the risk of intrahepatic metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with a higher survival rate and therefore can be considered an important prognostic factor for HCC patients. Rare reports are available on the relation between HBV infection and hepatic metastasis of CRC.
A research article to be published on February 14, 2011 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The authors designed a cohort study to observe the relation between HBV infection and liver metastasis of CRC.
The results showed a decrease in the percentage of metastases in the Hepatitis B virus infected group (14.2%) with respect to the control group (28.2%). In contrast, the number of patients that developed extrahepatic metastases was significantly higher than the control group, without any significant difference in the overall survival rate.
Finally, the authors suggested that HBV infection in colorectal cancer patients could be used as a prognostic factor in terms of hepatic metastasis formation.
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