Comparison of four current staging systems for Chinese patients with hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing curative resection: Okuda, CLIP, TNM and CUPI

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Background and Aim

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. However, there is no general consensus as to which staging system is the most reliable for predicting the survival of patients with HCC. The aims of this study were to compare commonly-used staging systems in a cohort of Chinese HCC patients undergoing curative resection.


From January 1991 to June 2002, 234 Chinese patients undergoing curative resection for HCC from one medical center were evaluated. All patients were classified by the Okuda, Cancer of the Liver Italian Program (CLIP), tumor node metastasis (TNM) (6th edition) and the Chinese University Prognostic Index (CUPI) staging systems. Survival curves were calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method and were examined using log-rank testing. The overall predictive power for patient survival with each staging system was evaluated by the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.


The overall median survival of the entire cohort was 24.9 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 18.15–31.65 months) and the estimated survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 69.66% ± 3.01%, 41.02% ± 3.31%, and 29.08% ± 3.55%, respectively. In our patient cohort, the log-rank test demonstrated that the TNM and Okuda staging systems gave better results than the other staging systems in the prognosis stratification. The prognostic predictive powers of the TNM staging for survival, evaluated by ROC curve areas, was also superior.


For HCC patients undergoing curative resection, the TNM staging system (6th edition) proved the best for prognostic stratification and prognosis prediction.

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