JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Aggressive surgical management of fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma.

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FLHC) is recognized as a distinct clinicopathologic variant of hepatocellular carcinoma. Ten consecutive patients with FLHC undergoing operative management at our institution were reviewed. At the initial presentation seven patients had stage II disease (pT2N0M0), whereas three patients were in stage III (pT2N0M0 or pT3N0M0). Initial procedures included formal right or left hepatectomy in four patients, right or left trisegmentectomy in two patients, left lateral segmentectomy or nonanatomic resection in three patients, and in one patient considered for liver transplantation, only exploration with biopsy of positive nodes was performed. Four stage II patients required a second procedure for resection of recurrent disease from 8 months to 6 years after the initial resection and one patient required a third procedure after 13 years. Reoperations included hepatic re-resection, resection of extrahepatic disease, and liver transplantation. Overall 5- and 10-year Kaplan-Meier survival was 70%. There were no deaths among stage II patients (follow-up 96 to 180 months). All stage III patients (i.e., lymph node involvement, vascular invasion, or multiple tumors) died within 5 years. Patients with stage II disease had better survival than patients with stage III disease (P = 0.011, log-rank test). Aggressive treatment of FLHC including reoperation and liver transplantation is justified, especially in patients with stage II disease.

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