Aims: Antiplatelet therapy has been reported to reduce liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and has exhibited antitumor properties in other cancers. However, the effects of antiplatelet therapy after diagnosis of HCC are unknown. We investigated the effects of antiplatelet therapy on prognosis, tumor progression, liver function and safety in HCC patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 772 HCC patients. Antiplatelet therapy was defined as the regular intake of aspirin or clopidogrel from HCC diagnosis through to an endpoint of either overall survival (OS) or liver-related death. Overall survival, liver-related death, tumor progression, Child–Pugh deterioration and hemorrhage were analyzed for patients who either had or had not undertaken antiplatelet therapy. Results: The numbers of patients who did and did not undertake antiplatelet therapy were 111 and 661, respectively. Patients who undertook antiplatelet therapy were older and had better liver function at diagnosis. Antiplatelet therapy resulted in significant improvements in OS (p
< 0.01) and lower risk of liver-related death (p
< 0.01). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that antiplatelet therapy had a significant negative association with liver-related death (hazard ratio (HR): 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.44–0.93, p
= 0.02). In patients who underwent transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) as the first treatment, antiplatelet therapy prevented tumor progression (p
< 0.01) and Child–Pugh deterioration (p
< 0.01). Antiplatelet therapy did not increase the risk of hemorrhagic events. Conclusions: Antiplatelet therapy reduced liver-related death and improved OS safely in HCC patients.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited