Surgical Intervention for Patients With Stage IV-A Hepatocellular Carcinoma Without Lymph Node Metastasis: Proposal as a Standard Therapy

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ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of surgical treatments for patients with stage IV-A hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) without lymph node metastasis.Summary Background DataNonsurgical therapy for highly advanced HCC patients has yielded poor long-term survival. Surgical intervention has been initiated in an effort to improve survival.MethodsThe outcome of 150 patients who underwent hepatic resection was studied. Survival analysis was made by stratifying stage IV-A HCC patients into two groups-those with and those without involvement of a major branch of the portal or hepatic veins. Those with involvement were further divided into subgroups according to major vascular invasions.ResultsPatients who had multiple tumors in more than one lobe without vascular invasion had a significantly better 5-year survival rate (20%) than those with vascular invasion (8%) (p < 0.01). The survival rate of patients with hepatic vein tumor thrombi (10%) was better than the rate for those with tumor thrombi in the inferior vena cava (0%), in whom no patients survived more than 2 years, although the survival rate for those with portal vein tumor thrombi in the first branch (11%) was no different from the rate for that in the portal trunk (4%). The operative mortality decreased from 14.3% in the first 6 years to 1.4% in the following 5 years.ConclusionsSurgical intervention for stage IV-A HCC patients brought longer survival rates for some patients. We recommend surgical intervention as an effective therapeutic modality for patients with advanced HCC.

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