Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Hangzhou Experiences

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Abstract

Introduction.

Liver transplantation (LT) has been the treatment of choice for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study was designed to summarize our experience in LT for HCC patients and establish a new set of criteria for patient selection and prognosis prediction.

Materials and Methods.

Data of 195 patients with HCC were retrospectively analyzed and various clinical and pathological factors for survival and tumor-free survival were examined by univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results.

Macrovascular invasion, preoperative serum alpha fetoprotein (AFP) level, tumor size, multifocality, histopathologic grading, distribution, and cirrhosis background were significant factors for survival and tumor-free survival by univariate analysis. Multivariate analysis identified macrovascular invasion, tumor size, preoperative AFP level, and histopathologic grading were prognostic factors independently associated with patient survival or tumor-free survival (RR=1.688–2.779, P=0.000–0.034). Based on the prognostic stratification of different risk groups of patients without macrovascular invasion, Hangzhou criteria was established, containing one of the two following items: (a) Total tumor diameter less than or equal to 8 cm; (b) total tumor diameter more than 8 cm, with histopathologic grade I or II and preoperative AFP level less than or equal to 400 ng/mL, simultaneously. The difference between survival curves of patients fulfilling Milan criteria (n=72) and patients fulfilling Hangzhou criteria (n=99) did not achieve statistical significance (5-year survival rates: 78.3% vs. 72.3%, P>0.05). Of the patients exceeding Milan criteria (n=123), those who fulfilled Hangzhou criteria (n=26) also had better prognosis than the others (n=97) (P=0.000).

Conclusion.

The results of this study show a reliable and feasible candidates selection and prognostic criteria of LT in HCC patients.

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