Effectiveness of Locoregional Therapy Before Living Donor Liver Transplantation in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma Who Meet the Milan Criteria

Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Transplantation Proceedings (Impact Factor: 0.95). 03/2012; 44(2):403-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.01.067
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Many patients are diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within the Milan criteria. In Korea, these patients are preferentially treated with locoregional therapy (LRT) instead of living donor liver transplantation. We investigated the effectiveness of LRT in liver transplant recipients who met the Milan criteria at the time of HCC diagnosis and investigated risk factors for HCC recurrence.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients diagnosed with HCC who met the Milan criteria between 2002 and 2008.
We performed 101 liver transplants for HCC during the study period. Seventy-one patients (70%) underwent pretransplant LRT. The disease-free survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years in patients who received LRT were 96.6%, 93.1%, and 93.1%, and in those who did not receive LRT, 94.2%, 83.4%, and 83.4%, respectively. There were no differences between the 2 groups. Multivariate analysis showed that a low Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score and microvascular invasion were independent predictors of HCC recurrence after transplantation. The MELD scores and rate of microvascular invasion were not statistically different in patients with or without previous LRT.
Pretransplant LRT for patients with HCC who met the Milan criteria at the time of diagnosis did not provide a clear benefit with respect to HCC recurrence after transplantation. If patients have suitable living donors, those who meet the Milan criteria should undergo a liver transplantation as soon as possible.

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