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Case report
Spontaneous regression of hepatocellular carcinoma: myth or reality?


We present a case of a 68-year-old man with chronic hepatitis C infection, with no evidence of chronic liver disease during the first years of follow-up, diagnosed with a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with 40 mm (α-fetoprotein (AFP) 205 ng/mL). He underwent segmental liver resection and pathology analysis was consistent with HCC and cirrhosis in the adjacent liver. Four months after surgery, AFP raised up to 126 661 ng/mL and abdominal MRI revealed a multinodular HCC. Patient rejected treatment with sorafenib and started megestrol and an herbal medicine, soursop (Annona muricata). Six months later, AFP markedly decreased (28 ng/mL) and abdominal MRI showed decreasing size and number of lesions. At 5 years of follow-up, he has no evidence of HCC. Spontaneous regression of HCC is a rare condition and the underlying mechanism is unclear. In this case there is a temporal relation between the start of megestrol and Annona muricata and HCC regression.

  • hepatic cancer
  • cirrhosis
  • gastrointestinal system
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