A group of researchers from Hong Kong, China investigated whether survival rates after resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have improved within the past decade.
The clinicopathologic and follow-up data of 377 patients, who underwent curative resection of HCC, was prospectively collected. All resections were performed between January 1989 and January 1999.
The patients were then categorized into those who had the operation before 1994 (Group 1, n = 136) and after 1994 (Group 2, n = 241).
The two groups were compared for clinicopathologic data and survival results.
The prognostic factors for disease-free survival were further analyzed, to identify the factors that might have led to improvement of survival outcomes.
|Better survival results for resection of HCC after 1994|
|Annals of Surgery|
The researchers found that the overall and disease-free survival rates were significantly better in Group 2, compared with Group 1.
Patients in Group 2 had significantly higher proportions of subclinical presentation, small tumors, and tumors of early pTNM stage.
There were also significantly lower frequencies of histologic margin involvement, less intraoperative blood loss, and a lower transfusion rate in Group 2.
By multivariate analysis, early pTNM stage, subclinical HCC, and no perioperative transfusion were independent favorable prognostic factors for disease-free survival.
Ronnie Tung-Ping Poon, of the University of Hong Kong Medical Center, Queen Mary Hospital, said on behalf of the team, "Significant improvement of overall and disease-free survival results after resection of HCC has been achieved within the past decade. This is as a result of advances in the diagnosis and surgical management of HCC."
"Earlier diagnosis of HCC by better imaging modalities, increased detection of subclinical HCC by screening of high-risk patients, and a reduced perioperative transfusion rate were identified as the major contributory factors for the improved outcomes," it was concluded.