Multidisciplinary Management of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Improves Access to Therapy and Patient Survival

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Background:Given the complexity of managing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), it is widely accepted that a multidisciplinary team approach (tumor boards) offers the best approach to individualize therapy. The aim of this study was to determine utilization of therapies and outcomes for patients with HCC, comparing those managed through our multidisciplinary tumor board (MDTB) to those who were not.Methods:A database analysis of all patients with HCC managed through our MDTB, from 2007 until 2011, was performed. A database of all patients with HCC from 2002 to 2011, not managed through MDTB, was similarly created.Results:A total of 306 patients with HCC, from 2007 to 2011 were managed through our MDTB, in comparison with 349 patients, from 2002 to 2011 who were not. There were no significant differences in baseline demographic data or model for end-stage liver disease at presentation. Patients managed through MDTB were more likely to present at an earlier tumor stage and with lower serum alpha fetoprotein (AFP) (P=0.007). The odds of receiving any treatment for HCC was higher in patients managed through MDTB (odds ratio, 2.80; 95% confidence interval, 1.71-4.59; P<0.0001) independent of model for end-stage liver disease score, serum AFP, and tumor stage. There was significantly greater survival of patients managed through MDTB (19.1±2.5 vs. 7.6±0.9 mo, P<0.0001). Independent predictors for improved survival included management through MDTB, receipt of any HCC treatment, lower serum AFP, receipt of liver transplant, and T2 tumor stage.Conclusions:Patients with HCC managed through a MDTB had significantly higher rates of receipt of therapy and improved survival compared with those who were not.

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