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Ann Surg. 1999 Feb; 229(2): 216–222.
PMCID: PMC1191634

Intrahepatic recurrence after curative resection of hepatocellular carcinoma: long-term results of treatment and prognostic factors.


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the long-term results of treatment and prognostic factors in patients with intrahepatic recurrence after curative resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Recent studies have demonstrated the usefulness of re-resection, transarterial oily chemoembolization (TOCE), or percutaneous ethanol injection therapy (PEIT) in selected patients with intrahepatic recurrent HCC. The overall results of a treatment strategy combining these modalities have not been fully evaluated, and the prognostic factors determining survival in these patients remain to be clarified. METHODS: Two hundred and forty-four patients who underwent curative resection for HCC were followed for intrahepatic recurrence, which was treated aggressively with a strategy including different modalities. Survival results after recurrence and from initial hepatectomy were analyzed, and prognostic factors were determined by univariate and multivariate analysis using 27 clinicopathologic variables. RESULTS: One hundred and five patients (43%) with intrahepatic recurrence were treated with re-resection (11), TOCE (71), PEIT (6), systemic chemotherapy (8) or conservatively (9). The overall 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year survival rates from the time of recurrence were 65.5%, 34.9%, and 19.7%, respectively, and from the time of initial hepatectomy were 78.4%, 47.2%, and 30.9%, respectively. The re-resection group had the best survival, followed by the TOCE group. Multivariate analysis revealed Child's B or C grading, serum albumin < or = 40 g/l, multiple recurrent tumors, recurrence < or = 1 year after hepatectomy, and concurrent extrahepatic recurrence to be independent adverse prognostic factors. CONCLUSIONS: Aggressive treatment with a multimodality strategy could result in prolonged survival in patients with intrahepatic recurrence after curative resection for HCC. Prognosis was determined by the liver function status, interval to recurrence, number of recurrent tumors, any concurrent extrahepatic recurrence, and type of treatment.

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Selected References

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