Small Hepatocellular Carcinoma With Low Tumor Marker Expression Benefits More From Anatomical Resection Than Tumors With Aggressive Biology

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Abstract

Objective:

We assessed prognostic advantage of anatomical resection (AR) over nonanatomical resection (NAR) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) according to multiplication of α-fetoprotein, des-γ-carboxyprothrombin, and tumor volume (ADV) scores.

Background:

Superiority of AR over NAR is debated. ADV score is surrogate marker of postresection prognosis for solitary HCC.

Methods:

This study included 1572 patients who underwent curative resection for solitary HCC of 2.0 to 5.0 cm between 2006 and 2014.

Results:

Preoperative patient profiles were not statistically different between AR and NAR groups. In 1324 naïve patients without preoperative treatment, AR group showed lower recurrence rates (P = 0.003) and higher patient survival rates (P = 0.012) than NAR group. AR group showed lower recurrence rates in patients with ADV ≤5 log (P ≤ 0.046). ADV scores >4 log and >3 log were independent risk factors for tumor recurrence and patient survival in treatment-naïve patients, respectively. In treatment-naïve group with preserved hepatic functional reserve, AR group showed lower recurrence rates in patients with ADV ≤4 log (P = 0.026). Absence of microvascular invasion also showed lower recurrence rates (P = 0.007) in AR group. In 248 patients with preoperative treatment, AR group showed lower recurrence rates (P = 0.001) and higher patient survival rates (P = 0.006). AR group showed lower recurrence rates in patients with ADV ≤4 log (P < 0.001) and higher survival rates in patients with ADV ≤5 log (P ≤ 0.043).

Conclusions:

Prognostic benefit of AR was evident in patients with ADV score ≤4 log or absence of microvascular invasion. Patients with less aggressive tumor biology benefit more from AR than NAR, thus being reasonably indicated for AR.

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