Prognostic nomogram for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma underwent adjuvant transarterial chemoembolization following curative resection

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Adjuvant transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a major option for postoperative hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with recurrence risk factors. However, individualized predictive models for subgroup of these patients are limited. This study aimed to develop a prognostic nomogram for patients with HCC underwent adjuvant TACE following curative resection.

A cohort comprising 144 HCC patients who received adjuvant TACE following curative resection in the Zhongshan Hospital were analyzed. The nomogram was formulated based on independent prognostic indicators for overall survival (OS). The performance of the nomogram was evaluated by the concordance index (C-index), calibration curve, and decision curve analysis (DCA) and compared with the conventional staging systems. The results were validated in an independent cohort of 86 patients with the same inclusion criteria.

Serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), hyper-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), incomplete tumor encapsulation, and double positive staining of Cytokeratin 7 and Cytokeratin 19 on tumor cells were identified as independent predictors for OS. The C-indices of the nomogram for OS prediction in the training cohort and validation cohort were 0.787 (95%CI 0.775–0.799) and 0.714 (95%CI 0.695–0.733), respectively. In both the training and validation cohorts, the calibration plot showed good consistency between the nomogram-predicted and the observed survival. Furthermore, the established nomogram was superior to the conventional staging systems in terms of C-index and clinical net benefit on DCA.

The proposed nomogram provided an accurate prediction on risk stratification for HCC patients underwent adjuvant TACE following curative resection.

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