Liver Resection for Solitary Transplantable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: The Role of AFP-Score
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In 2012, the Liver Transplant French Study Group built the alpha-fetoprotein-score (AFP-score), which improved significantly the prediction of tumor recurrence in case of liver transplantation for HCC when compared to Milan criteria. The aim of the study was to test the AFP score in case of liver resection (LR) for HCC.
From 1990 to 2012, 347 patients underwent a liver resection for HCC developed on chronic liver disease (CLD). All patients with solitary HCC <60 mm were included. The primary end point was to investigate if the AFP-score at the first LR was predictive of recurrence and if recurrence occurred within the AFP-score. The secondary end points were overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival.
One hundred and eight patients fulfilled the inclusions criteria. After a median follow-up of 65.4IQR [13–114] months, recurrence occurred in 64.8% (70/108) patients. Among the study population, 96 were “in AFP-score” (i.e., ≤2) of whom 60.4% (58/96) developed a recurrence that was cured in curative intent. In contrast, all patients “out AFP-score” experienced recurrence, and 25% were eligible for curative treatment. At the end of the follow-up, 26 patients were listed for liver transplantation (LT). Among them, 21 were finally transplanted. The 5-year OS after salvage LT was 68.5%95%CI [50.2–93.0].
AFP-score is a useful tool for patients selection after LR for solitary HCC developed on CLD. For patients “in AFP-score,” up-front LR provides good survival and allows to avoid up-front LT in case of recurrence.
Compliance with ethical standards
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