Changing epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma in South America: A report from the South American liver research network

Marina Farah, Chimaobi Anugwom, Javier Diaz Ferrer, Estefania Liza Baca, Angelo Z. Mattos, João Pedro P. Possebon, Marco Arrese, Jhon Prieto, Domingo Balderramo, Enrique Carrera, Jose D. Debes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction and objectives: Most epidemiological data on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) originate from resource-rich countries. We have previously described the epidemiology of HCC in South America through the South American Liver Research Network. Here, we provide an update on the changing epidemiology of HCC in the continent seven years since that report. Materials and methods: We evaluated all cases of HCC diagnosed between 2019 to 2021 in centers from six countries in South America. A templated, retrospective chart review of patient characteristics at the time of HCC diagnosis, including basic demographic, clinical and laboratory data, was completed. Diagnosis of HCC was made radiologically or histologically for all cases via institutional standards. Results: Centers contributed to a total of 339 HCC cases. Peru accounted for 37% (n=125) of patients; Brazil 16% (n=57); Chile 15% (n=51); Colombia 14% (n=48); Argentina 9% (n=29); and Ecuador 9% (n=29). The median age at HCC diagnosis was 67 years (IQR 59-73) and 61% were male. The most common risk factor was nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD, 37%), followed by hepatitis C (17%), alcohol use disorder (11%) and hepatitis B (12%). The majority of HCCs occurred in the setting of cirrhosis (80%). HBV-related HCC occurred at a younger age compared to other causes, with a median age of 46 years (IQR 36-64). Conclusion: We report dramatic changes in the epidemiology of HCC in South America over the last decade, with a substantial increase in NAFLD-related HCC. HBV-related HCC still occurs at a much younger age when compared to other causes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100876
JournalAnnals of Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (AFMDP), University of Minnesota AIRP, EU Horizon

2020 program (project number 825510), and NIH-NCI R21 CA215883-01A1. MA was partially supported by grants from the Fondo Nacional De Ciencia y Tecnología de Chile (FONDECYT #1191145 to MA), the Comisión Nacional de Investigación, Ciencia y Tecnología (CONICYT, AFB170005, CARE, Chile, UC)

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Fundación Clínica Médica Sur, A.C.


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