, Volume 393, Issue 2, pp 141-147,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Liver transplantation as curative approach for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: is it justified?

Abstract

Backgrounds

Liver transplantation is considered as one of therapeutic approaches to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The present study aims to evaluate the efficacy of various therapeutic options for HCC.

Materials and methods

One hundred twenty patients with known HCC in various tumour stages were evaluated in the present study. Patients were treated either with primary tumour resection, transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE) or liver transplantation (LTx) by an interdisciplinary team.

Results

The overall 1-year and 5-year survivals of patients in LTx group were 95 and 57%, respectively, which were significantly higher than those in primary tumour resection group (65 and 33%, P < 0.01) and those in TACE group (44 and 4%, P < 0.01). In parallel, 1-year and 5-year tumour-free survivals of patients in LTx group (75 and 62%) were significantly higher than those in primary tumour resection group (50 and 11%, P < 0.01). There were no significant differences in 1- and 5-year survivals of patients with early tumour stage received LTx or primary tumour resection, whereas patients in advanced tumour stage based on pathological findings of explanted liver significantly benefited from LTx as compared to primary resection.

Conclusions

LTx can be a curative approach for patients with advanced HCC without extrahepatic metastasis. However, organ shortage is a major limiting factor in the selection of HCC patients for LTx.