Is primary biliary cirrhosis a risk factor for hepatic and extrahepatic malignancies?

Authors Melanie Deutsch.


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) represents a classical cause of liver cirrhosis but clear data about the true risk of the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are still lacking.Data are based especially on epidemiologic studies from different geographical areas and, since PBC is a relatively rare disease with a very slow natural course, the true incidence of HCC is not well known. However, most of the studies agree that patients with cirrhotic stage PBC are at increased risk and they should be included in a surveillance program.On the other hand, some authors suggested during the 1970s and early 1980s that PBC patients are at increased risk for development of extrahepatic cancer, especially breast cancer.These findings could not be confirmed in more recent larger studies and finally no higher risk of developing extrahepatic cancer has been documented in these patients.