Predictors of survival after resection of early hepatocellular carcinoma

Hari Nathan, Richard D Schulick, Michael A Choti, Timothy M Pawlik
Annals of Surgery 2009, 249 (5): 799-805

OBJECTIVE: To identify clinicopathologic factors that predict survival following hepatectomy in patients with early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Although surgical resection of early HCC is thought to be associated with a good outcome, factors predictive of prognosis following resection of these tumors remain ill-defined.

METHODS: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was used to identify patients with histologically confirmed early HCC (< or =5 cm and no nodal involvement, metastases, or major vascular invasion) who underwent surgical resection (not ablation or transplantation) between 1988 and 2005. Prognostic factors were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: The study included 788 patients. Median tumor size was 3.2 cm, and 20% of patients had tumors < or =2 cm. Most HCC lesions were solitary (74%) and had no evidence of vascular invasion (82%). Following surgery, overall median and 5-year survival were 45 months and 39%, respectively. After adjusting for demographic factors and histological grade, tumor size >2 cm (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.51), multifocal tumors (HR: 1.51), and vascular invasion (HR: 1.44) remained independent predictors of poor survival (all P < 0.05). Based on these findings, a prognostic scoring system was developed that allotted 1 point each for these factors. Patients with early HCC could be stratified into 3 distinct prognostic groups (median and 5-year survival, respectively): 0 points (70 months, 55%), 1 point (52 months, 42%), and > or =2 points (24 months, 29%) (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Although early HCC is generally associated with a good prognosis, pathologic factors can still be used to stratify patients with respect to survival after resection. These data emphasize the importance of pathologic staging even in small HCC.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"