Although early survival following transplantation for primary hepatic cancer is excellent, previously reported high recurrence rates have generally discouraged liver replacement for this condition. The aim of this retrospective analysis was to examine the influence of risk factors on the development of early tumor recurrence. Between December 1982 and June 1995, 480 liver transplantations were performed at a single institution. Out of these, 103 patients had unresectable primary hepatic cancer (88 hepatocellular cancer; HCCA; 20%) and 15 had cholangiocellular cancer (CHCA; 4%). The influence of the following tumor-associated risk factors was assessed: tumor size, tumor distribution within the liver, grading, pseudocapsular formation, vascular invasion, lymph node metastasis, and cirrhotic alteration. The diagnosis of tumor recurrence was made using various radiological imaging techniques, reelavation of serum alphafetoprotein, or autopsy. For patient survival and disease-free period, data analysis was performed by the method of Kaplan-Meier. The Cox model was used for multivariate analysis; a P-value of less than 0.05 was considered to be significant. The mean age of the 103 patients was 54 years (range 15–63 a). There were 22 female and 81 male patients. The follow-up period ranged between 4 and 108 months. Twenty-nine patients (50%) died during the follow-up period due to recurrence of disease. The survival rates of the 88 patients with HCCA were 57%, 34%, and 26% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively, after orthotopic liver transplantation (oLTX; follow-up 36 month). Of the 15 pts with CHCA the rates were 53%, 33%, and 33%, respectively, with a median follow-up of 60 months. The influence of the risk factors studied showed a significantly longer disease-free period for the following tumorcharacteristics: grading below or equal 2 (P = 0.009) and absence of vascular invasion (P = 0.04). Regarding a median survival rate of 2–4 months for patients with unresectable malignant liver tumors, these results confirmed the indication for oLTX, especially if the patient does not compete with someone on the waiting list for benign liver disease.
Key wordsLiver transplantation Primary hepatic cancer Outcome
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 4.Yokojama I, Todo S, Iwatsuki S, et al (1990) Liver transplantation in the treatment of primary liver cancer. Hepatogastroenterology 37: 188–193Google Scholar
- 5.Yokojama I, Sheahan DG, Carr B, et al (1991) Clinicopathologic factors affecting patient survival and tumor recurrence after orthotopic liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma. Transplant Proc 223: 2194–2196Google Scholar
- 7.Bismuth H, Chiche L, Adam R, et al (1993) Liver resection versus transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients. Ann Surg 218: 145151Google Scholar