People with HIV who undergo liver transplants for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer, appear to fare as well as those without the virus, WebMD reports. Publishing their findings in The Oncologist, Italian researchers conducted the largest multicenter study of liver transplant for HCC in HIV-positive people to date. The study evaluated the outcomes of 30 HIV-positive participants and 125 HIV-negative participants after they received liver transplants for HCC between 2004 and 2009.

Two of those with HIV (6.7 percent) and 18 of those in the uninfected group (14.4 percent) saw their HCC recur during a follow-up period of just less than three years. Survival rates were comparable between the two groups: One year after transplantation, 77 percent of the HIV-positive participants were living, compared with 86.4 percent for the HIV-negative participants; after three years, the rates were a respective 65 and 70 percent.

“The key message of this study is that liver transplantation is a valid option for HCC treatment in HIV-infected patients,” the study authors write. “We suggest that HIV-infected patients must be offered the same liver transplant options for HCC treatment currently provided to HIV-uninfected subjects.”

The study is limited by its small sample size, resulting in lower statistical significance to the data, meaning there is a greater possibility that chance may have played a role in the findings.

To read the WebMD story, click here.

To read the study release, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.