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Prognostic Significance of Sarcomatous Change in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma After Surgical Resection

  • Hepatobiliary Tumors
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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with sarcomatous change (SC) is a rare malignancy associated with high aggressiveness and poor prognosis; however, its prognostic significance remains unclear.


From January 1994 to April 2012, surgically resected HCCs with SC (n = 52) at West China Hospital were retrospectively reviewed. HCC with SC was defined as the concomitant presence of the sarcomatous component occupying at least 10 % (but not predominantly) of the HCC-bearing tissue. To validate its prognostic significance, we compared the clinicopathological features and survival rates of these patients with a cohort of 214 randomly selected ordinary HCC patients during the same period.


The clinicopathological characteristics of HCC with SC were similar to those of ordinary HCC, with the exception of capsule formation, adjacent organ invasion, lymph node metastasis, and TNM staging. A total of 45 (86.5 %) HCC patients with SC experienced a recurrence, with a median time to recurrence of 6.0 months. Overall survival (OS) rates in the sarcomatous HCC group at 1, 2, and 3 years were 55.8, 25, and 17.3 %, respectively, which were significantly lower than those in the ordinary HCC group (p < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, macrovascular invasion, satellite nodules, and R1/R2 resection were identified as independent risk factors for shorter disease-free survival and OS.


The presence of SC in HCC was uncommon, and was associated with much poorer prognosis than ordinary HCC. Radical resection with negative margin is essential for improving the prognosis. Future prospective studies are warranted to determine if recurrent patients can benefit from postoperative adjuvant therapies.

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This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30772124), and Science and Technology Supportive Plan of Sichuan Province (Grant No. 2015SZ0070).

Author Contributions

Jiong Lu and Nan-Sheng Cheng designed this subject; Jiong Lu and Xian-Ze Xiong drafted the manuscript; Yu-Long Cai, Rong-Xing Zhou, Yi-Xin Lin, and Yan-Wen Jin collected, integrated, and analyzed data; Fu-Yu Li and Hui Ye critically revised the intellectual content; and Nan-Sheng Cheng approved the final version of the manuscript.


Jiong Lu, Xian-Ze Xiong, Fu-Yu Li, Hui Ye, Yi-Xin Lin, Rong-Xing Zhou, Yu-Long Cai, Yan-Wen Jin, and Nan-Sheng Cheng have no potential conflicts of interest (financial, professional, or personal) that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nan-Sheng Cheng MD.

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Jiong Lu and Xian-Ze Xiong have contributed equally to this work.

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Lu, J., Xiong, XZ., Li, FY. et al. Prognostic Significance of Sarcomatous Change in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma After Surgical Resection. Ann Surg Oncol 22 (Suppl 3), 1048–1056 (2015).

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