Liver transplantation versus liver resection for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma
Article first published online: 1 OCT 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume 101, Issue 1, pages 47–53, 1 January 2010
How to Cite
Lee, K. K., Kim, D. G., Moon, I. S., Lee, M. D. and Park, J. H. (2010), Liver transplantation versus liver resection for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. J. Surg. Oncol., 101: 47–53. doi: 10.1002/jso.21415
- Issue published online: 18 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 1 OCT 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 AUG 2009
- Manuscript Received: 6 FEB 2009
- liver transplantation;
- liver resection;
- hepatocellular carcinoma;
- child A or B
Liver resection (LR) and liver transplantation (LT) are considered the only two potentially curative treatments for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently, there has been an intense debate as to whether LR or LT is the optimal initial treatment for patients with Child A or B cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to compare the results of LR and LT in patients with HCC and with Child A or B cirrhosis in a single center over a 10-year period.
Seventy-eight patients were treated with LT and 130 were treated with LR. We evaluated patient characteristics, short-term results such as hospital stay, postoperative complication, mortality, and long-term results such as overall and recurrence-free survival and recurrence.
The hospital stay of the LT group was significantly longer than that of the LR group (P < 0.001). The postoperative complication rate and the early operative mortality rate were similar between the two groups. The overall survival rate was higher after LT than it was after LR, but not to a statistically significant degree (P = 0.267). The recurrence-free survival rate was significantly higher after LT than it was after LR (P = 0.002). Within and beyond the Milan criteria, the overall survival rate was higher after LT than it was after LR, but not to a statistically significant degree. The recurrence-free survival rate was significantly higher after LT than it was after LR in the patients within Milan criteria (P < 0.001). HCC recurred more frequently after resection (51.5%) than it did after transplantation (29.5%) (P < 0.001), and HCC recurrence developed in the liver more frequently after LR than it did after LT (P = 0.002). However, after recurrence, LR had better survival than LT did, but not to a statistically significant degree (P = 0.177).
LT should be considered as the primary treatment in patients with HCC within the Milan criteria. LR is recommended for patients with HCC beyond the Milan criteria. The LT group showed a significantly lower recurrence rate than the LR group. However, in the case of recurrence, the LT group showed a poorer long-term outcome than the LR group. J. Surg. Oncol. 2010;101:47–53. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.