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Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Current Role and Future Opportunities

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 32 ]


Felicitas L. Koller, Sunil K. Geevarghese and D. Lee Gorden   Pages 3265 - 3273 ( 9 )


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignancy of the liver. It represents the fifth most common cancer worldwide, and one whose incidence is on the rise. Liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer mortality globally and thus a major health concern worldwide. Therapeutic options for this tumor include surgical resection, local ablative therapies, and systemic treatment. Liver transplantation has emerged as a highly effective treatment for patients with HCC, particularly in the setting of significant underlying liver disease. Current protocols in transplantation for this tumor utilize strict size criteria and staging (TNM classification) to select patients for this therapy. Selection criteria for liver transplantation for HCC that are accepted in the U.S. include: 1 tumor < 5cm, no greater than three tumor nodules, each less than 3cm in diameter 3) no macroscopic invasion of blood vessels or lymph nodes, and no extra-hepatic spread of tumor. Eligibility criteria and immunosuppression strategies are continuing to evolve in this field. Nonetheless, in appropriately selected patients, liver transplantation may provide a cure for HCC with survival rates equal to that of liver transplantation for end-stage liver disease (ESLD) from other causes. Liver transplantation has been established as one of the principal treatment modalities for this difficult disease.


HCC,therapies,liver transplantation,liver surgery


, , Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Suite 801, Oxford House, Nashville, TN 37232-4753, USA.

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