Background: An accurate staging system is required to assess hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients in order to benefit from hepatic resection before surgery. Cancer of the Liver Italian Program (CLIP) score was considered to be better than the Okuda staging system to predict survival. Japan Integrated Staging Score (JIS score) includes tumor, nodes, metastases (TNM) stage and Child–Pugh grade as a new staging system for HCC. The purpose of the present paper was to compare the CLIP, Okuda, TNM and JIS staging systems for HCC patients undergoing surgery.
Methods: From 1991 to 1995, 599 patients undergoing hepatic resection for HCC from four medical centers in Taiwan were evaluated. All patients were classified by Okuda, CLIP, TNM and JIS systems. Factors associated survivals were analyzed.
Results: There was no statistical difference in survival between CLIP 0 and 1 patients, or among CLIP 2–4 patients. The prognostic validation of the Okuda and CLIP scoring systems in discriminating survival in HCC patients undergoing surgery was not satisfied. The TNM system was successful in predicting survival for HCC patients undergoing surgery. The JIS score could also differentiate survivals for those patients except for JIS 3. By multivariate analysis, age ≥60 years old, serum albumin <3.5 g/dL, tumor size >5 cm and TNM stage were associated with survival.
Conclusion: Both the Okuda and CLIP systems are not superior to TNM staging for HCC patients who undergo surgical resection. Whether JIS score is feasible for those patients with advanced HCC needs further evaluation.