Treatment strategies for hepatocellular carcinoma in Japan


Dr Tatsuya Yamashita, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-8641, Japan. Email:


The main methods of treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Japan are hepatic resection, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Meticulous follow up is then undertaken to check for recurrence, which is treated using repeated RFA or TACE. Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy has been introduced as treatment for advanced HCC, and the molecular-targeted drug sorafenib is also now available. Rigorous medical care using these treatment methods and early diagnosis mean that the prognosis for HCC in Japan is the best in the world. This paper reviews the treatment strategies for HCC in Japan.