Harm and Benefits of Primary Liver Resection and Salvage Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Authors


* Corresponding author: Alessandro Cucchetti, aleqko@libero.it.

Abstract

Primary transplantation offers longer life-expectancy in comparison to hepatic resection (HR) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) followed by salvage transplantation; however, livers not used for primary transplantation can be reallocated to the remaining waiting-list patients, thus, the harm caused to resected patients could be balanced, or outweighed, by the benefit obtained from reallocation of livers originating from HCC patients first being resected. A Markov model was developed to investigate this issue based on literature data or estimated from the United Network for Organ Sharing database. Markov model shows that primary transplantation offers longer life-expectancy in comparison to HR and salvage transplantation if 5-year posttransplant survival remains higher than 60%. The balance between the harm for resected patients and the benefit for the remaining waiting list depends on (a) the proportion of HCC candidates, (b) the percentage shifted to HR and (c) the median expected time-to-transplant. Faced with a low proportion of HCC candidates, the harm caused to resected patients was higher than the benefit that could be obtained for the waiting-list population from re-allocation of extra livers. An increased proportion of HCC candidates and/or an increased median time-to-transplant could lead to a benefit for waiting-list patients that outweighs this harm.

Ancillary