Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surgical therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represent the potentially curative approaches and provide patients the greatest survival advantage. We sought to examine the outcomes of patients with HCC treated with surgical resection, transplantation, and local ablation.
The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was queried for all patients with nonmetastatic HCC from 2004 to 2007 who underwent local ablation (LA), segmental resection (SR), hemihepatectomy or extended resection (ER), or transplantation (TP).
Of 16,209 patients with HCC, 3,989 (24.6 %) met criteria for inclusion and received therapies: 1,550 LA (39 %), 703 SR (18 %), 619 ER (16 %), and 1,117 TP (28 %). AFP was elevated in 69 % (2,026 of 2,921), and fibrosis grade 0-4 was noted in 32 % (368 of 1,156). The 3-year survival by procedure was 34 % (LA), 50 % (SR), 54 % (ER), and 74 % (TP), p = .001. In patients with minimal fibrosis, 1-year survival for patients undergoing resection was similar to TP (85 vs. 92 %, p = .346), but greater than LA (69 %, p = .001).
Survival after surgical resection for HCC patients without extensive fibrosis appears to be superior to ablation and non-inferior to transplantation. In an era of organ shortage, transplantation may be better reserved for patients with cirrhosis and/or unresectable disease.