Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Resection versus Transplantation
Chirurgische Klinik II-Klinik für Abdominal-, Transplantations- und Gefässchirurgie, Universität Leipzig.Zentralblatt für Chirurgie (Impact Factor: 1.05). 02/2000; 125(7):624-8. DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1351783
For decision of adequate surgical therapy and comparison of results differentiation of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) in cirrhotic and noncirrhotic livers is important. Liver resection is the treatment of choice for HCC in noncirrhotic liver. Between 4/94 and 8/99 we treated 54 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by subtotal hepatic resection (n = 40) and orthotopic liver transplantation (n = 14). Overall 1- and 3-year survival rates of the resection group were 45 and 25% (median follow up: 3.5 years). One-year survival in the transplantation group was 72% (median follow up: 2.2 years). In patients with HCC in cirrhosis in UICC stage I to III the optimal therapy is a controversial issue. In these patients the results after liver resection are poor due to high operative mortality and recurrence (3-year recurrence-free survival: 30%). Regarding the literature, liver transplantation is the treatment of choice in small (< 3-5 cm, < or = 2 tumors) HCCs arising in cirrhosis with better outcome compared to resection. The data in the literature report 3-year-survival rates after liver transplantation of 60-80%. However, consequent patient selection is necessary for this treatment modality. Due to the limited donor resources liver transplantation is rarely justified in advanced tumors.
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ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignant epithelial tumor that accounts for over 80% of primary liver tumors. It affects males more than females, and is responsible for over 1 million yearly deaths worldwide. HCC tends to be relentless in nature and of rapid evolution. Most cases of HCC are associated with cirrhosis, usually caused by chronic viral hepatitis or alcohol ingestion. In cases of established cirrhosis, HCC develops with an annual incidence of 3%-10%. Hepatocellular carcinoma may present in a generalized way with overall clinical deterioration and malaise, as a palpable liver mass, or as an asymptomatic lesion that is discovered incidentally. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) measurements allow for the differentiation of HCC in cirrhotics, and can act as predictive markers. Patients with cirrhosis and small tumors (up to 3 cm, or 5 cm if solitary), no more than three nodules, and no portal vein involvement were found to benefit more from orthotopic liver transplantation (OLTx) than from resection. Tumors under 3 cm in size were unlikely to recur, while those over 5 cm posed the greatest risk. An incidental HCC in a transplant patient should be treated as seriously and aggressively as if the transplant had been undertaken for HCC.
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ABSTRACT: The benefits of hepatic transplantation (HT) compared with hepatic resection (HR) in treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with cirrhosis are controversial. The aim of this study was to compare the results of these therapeutic options. The charts of all patients with cirrhosis who underwent HR or HT for HCC between 1997 and 2000 were analyzed. The cohort included 44 patients who underwent HR compared with 65 with HT. All patients in the HR group had Child's A disease, in contrast to the HT group, which included 23% Child's A and 77% Child's B and C patients. Whereas all HT patients spent at least three nights in the intensive care unit, 41% of the HR group never required critical care. Perioperative mortality was 7% in both groups. Pathologic analysis revealed T1/T2 disease in 43% of the HR group compared with 75% of the HT group. After 36 months of follow-up, there was no significant difference in overall survival (57% vs. 66%) or disease-free survival (36% vs. 66%) between the two groups. With overall survival and disease-free survival as the main outcomes, the results of HR versus HT are comparable in Child's A patients with HCC. In this patient subset, HR not only is an effective form of therapy, but is also associated with quicker recovery.
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