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Review of current staging systems for hepatocellular carcinoma


Professor Masatoshi Kudo, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kinki University School of Medicine, 377-2 Ohno-Higashi, Osaka-Sayama 589-8511, Japan. Email:


Several staging systems have been developed to classify patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), however, there is no consensus on which of these is the most useful and reliable. In this review article, currently available integrated staging systems taking into account both liver function and tumor progression are presented, and their characteristics and applicability for current HCC patients, many of whom are diagnosed in the early stage of the disease and treated by curative therapy, are discussed. Based on the original andsubsequent validation studies of these staging systems, we recommend that further validation studies of staging systems for HCC should focus on the revised Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging classification, Japan Integrated Staging (JIS) score and Tokyo score.