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Clinical features and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in Mongolia: a multicentre study



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common cancer in Mongolia. We aimed to investigate the clinical features, therapeutic modalities, overall survival and prognostic factors for Mongolian patients with HCC.


One hundred ninety-five patients with HCC were consecutively enroled in our study.


The mean age was 61.7 years. The most common etiology for HCC was HCV infection (n = 89, 45.6%), followed by HBV infection (n = 67, 34.4%). The mean tumor diameter was 6.0 ± 2.6 cm. Only 29 (14.9%) patients had a single lesion, while 39 (20.2%) had >3 lesions. Extrahepatic metastasis to lung (n = 23), bone (n = 10) and lymph node (n = 3) were detected in 36 (18.5%) patients. Most patients had advanced HCC—88 (45.1%) in stage III and 57 (29.2%) in stage IV. Surgical resection was performed in 27 (13.8%) patients, RFA in 23 (11.8%) and TACE in 107 (54.9%). When all the patients were categorized as ‘treated’ (n = 156) and ‘not treated’ (n = 39), the 3-year survival was significantly lower in the ‘not treated’ group than in the ‘treated’ group (11 vs. 0%, P < 0.001). Tumor diameter (<3 cm vs. ≥3 cm), extrahepatic metastasis, TNM stage (I/II vs. III/IV) and treatment (or supportive care) were selected as independent predictors for survival.


High proportion of patients with HCC in Mongolia is diagnosed at an advanced stage and survival of these patients is lower compared to other countries. A surveillance system and referral policy for high-risk groups should be urgently established and implemented in Mongolia.

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This study was supported partly by the Grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (no. A102065) and partly by funds from Yonsei Liver Blood Bank (YLBB).

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Correspondence to Sang Hoon Ahn.

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O. Baatarkhuu and D. Y. Kim equally contributed to this work.

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Baatarkhuu, O., Kim, D.Y., Nymadawa, P. et al. Clinical features and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma in Mongolia: a multicentre study. Hepatol Int 6, 763–769 (2012).

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  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Survival
  • Mongolia