Control of intracranial disease is associated with improved survival in patients with brain metastasis from hepatocellular carcinoma
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Brain metastasis is a rare event in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This retrospective study aimed to identify the prognostic factors and determine the outcomes of patients with brain metastases from HCC.
About 86 patients with brain metastases (0.6%) from HCC were identified from two institutions; of them, 32 underwent tumor-removing surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) with or without adjuvant whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) (group 1), 30 had WBRT alone (group 2), and 24 received conservative treatment (group 3). Estimates for overall survival (OS) after brain metastases were determined, and clinical prognostic factors were identified.
The median OS after development of brain metastases was 50 days. About 75 (87.2%) patients had lung metastases at the time of brain metastasis diagnosis. Group 1 showed better OS, followed by group 2 and group 3, sequentially (p < 0.001). Univariate analyses showed that treatment with curative intent (surgery or SRS), Child–Pugh class A, alpha-fetoprotein level < 400 ng/ml, and recursive partitioning analysis classification I or II were associated with improved survival (p < 0.001, 0.002, 0.029, and 0.012, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that treatment with curative intent and Child–Pugh class A was associated with improved OS (p < 0.001 and 0.009, respectively).
Although the overall prognosis of patients with brain metastases from HCC is extremely poor, patients actively treated with surgery or radiosurgery have prolonged survival, suggesting that interventions to control intracranial disease are important in these patients.
KeywordsHepatocellular carcinoma Brain metastasis Overall survival
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2017R1A2B4010197) (S.H.B.). This work was also supported by Research Fund of Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, the Catholic University of Korea (P.S.S.).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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