The effectiveness of ultrasound-based surveillance for HCC in patients with cirrhosis is limited by suboptimal sensitivity for early tumor detection and poor adherence. Emerging blood-based biomarkers have been proposed as an alternative surveillance strategy. We aimed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of a multitarget HCC blood test (mt-HBT)-with and without improved adherence-against ultrasound-based HCC surveillance.We developed a Markov-based mathematical model that simulated a virtual trial in patients with compensated cirrhosis comparing potential surveillance strategies: biannual surveillance using ultrasound, ultrasound plus AFP, and mt-HBT with or without improved adherence (+10% increase). We used published data to inform underlying liver disease progression rates, HCC tumor growth patterns, performance characteristics of surveillance modalities, and efficacy of treatments. Primary outcomes of interest were the number of early-stage HCCs detected and life years gained.Per 100,000 patients with cirrhosis, mt-HBT detected 1680 more early-stage HCCs than ultrasound alone and 350 more early-stage HCCs than ultrasound + AFP, yielding an additional 5720 and 1000 life years, respectively. mt-HBT with improved adherence detected 2200 more early-stage HCCs than ultrasound and 880 more early-stage HCCs than ultrasound + AFP, yielding an additional 8140 and 3420 life years, respectively. The number of screening tests needed to detect one HCC case was 139 with ultrasound, 122 with ultrasound + AFP, 119 with mt-HBT, and 124 with mt-HBT with improved adherence.mt-HBT is a promising alternative to ultrasound-based HCC surveillance, particularly given anticipated improved adherence with blood-based biomarkers could increase HCC surveillance effectiveness.
View details for DOI 10.1097/HC9.0000000000000146
View details for PubMedID 37204402