Hepatitis C infects 1.6% of the United States adult population, and the peak prevalence of infection is present in the Baby Boomer generation. HCV infection predisposed patients to both hepatic and non-hepatic malignancies, leading to an increasing number of HCV infected patients needing chemotherapy. Since the liver is the most important site of drug metabolism, it is critical to understand how HCV impacts chemotherapy. Clinical decisions regarding chemotherapy dosing are traditionally based on serum biochemical tests; however these do not measure liver function, and liver biopsy combined with the Child classification are better measures of true liver function. Fortunately, patients without cirrhosis have intact synthetic function. However, patients with cirrhosis, some of whom have normal liver function tests, may not. Not only can HCV infection increase the risk of hepatotoxicity from chemotherapy, but chemotherapy can accelerate the progression of HCV related liver disease.
- Hepatitis C
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