Liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with cirrhosis is a radical treatment of the tumor and associated precancerous state. It is potentially curative in a proportion of patients. The outcomes of early studies of liver transplantation in this indication were initially unfavorable. Selection of transplant candidates at an early stage, in the absence of extrahepatic spread, gives better survival than surgical resection and alternative nonsurgical treatments. Transarterial chemoembolization can be used for preoperative control of the disease. Adjuvant chemotherapy may be indicated in the postoperative period for the prevention of recurrence in patients with histologic features of invasiveness in the surgical specimen. Liver transplantation as the treatment of choice for early HCC in screening programs in cirrhotic patients may become limited by graft availability as the numbers of hepatitis C-related cases increase. Resection may be indicated if the waiting time is likely to be long.
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