Primary Liver Cancer: An NCDB Analysis of Overall Survival and Margins After Hepatectomy

  • Christopher Coon
  • Nicholas Berger
  • Dan Eastwood
  • Susan Tsai
  • Kathleen Christians
  • Harveshp Mogal
  • Callisia Clarke
  • T. Clark GamblinEmail author
Hepatobiliary Tumors



Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) constitute the majority of primary liver cancers. This retrospective review aimed to determine whether site of care is a significant predictor of patient outcome after hepatectomy as measured by overall survival, hazard ratios (HRs), and resection margin status.


Data regarding patients with a new diagnosis of ICC and HCC who underwent hepatectomy were analyzed from the national cancer database. The patients were divided into two cohorts: those receiving treatment at academic cancer centers (ACCs) and those receiving treatment at community cancer centers (CCCs). The study adjusted for confounding variables and selection bias using propensity score matching. Median overall survival (months), hazard ratios, and resection margin status (R0, R1/R2, unknown) were examined.


The inclusion criteria were met by 10,463 patients. After propensity matching, 5600 patients remained, with half receiving treatment at ACCs and half at CCCs. Median overall survival from the date of diagnosis for patients undergoing hepatectomy was longer at ACCs than at CCCs (28.3 vs 24.8 months; p < 0.001). Additionally, multivariable Cox proportional hazards models showed that treatment at CCCs was associated with poorer survival than treatment at ACCs (HR, 1.226; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.142–1.316; p < 0.0001). Treatment facility designation also was a predictive indicator of resection margin status, with patients at CCCs exhibiting higher odds of R1/R2 resections (odds ratio [OR], 1.41; 95% CI, 1.19–1.67; p < 0.0001).


Hepatectomy for ICC and HCC performed at ACCs was associated with improved outcomes compared with CCCs. Centralization of care to ACCs may lead to improved patient outcomes.



There are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Coon
    • 1
  • Nicholas Berger
    • 1
  • Dan Eastwood
    • 2
  • Susan Tsai
    • 1
  • Kathleen Christians
    • 1
  • Harveshp Mogal
    • 1
  • Callisia Clarke
    • 1
  • T. Clark Gamblin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of SurgeryMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Division of BiostatisticsMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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