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Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 1992 Jul;19(8 Suppl):1202-6.

Analysis of one hundred and twenty five patients with primary liver cancer surviving more than five years.

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  • 1Liver Cancer Institute, Shanghai Medical University, China.


During the period of 1958-1986, a series of 125 patients with pathologically proven hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surviving more than 5 years was collected in authors' institute. Thirty seven of them survived more than 10 years, the longest being 30 years. Of the entire series, 55.2% of patients was discovered by screening, 48.0% of patients was subclinical HCC, 80.0% of patients had solitary tumor, and 53.6% of patients had tumor size smaller than 5 cm. Pathological findings revealed that 90.2% of tumor was grade I and II (Edmondson grading) and 81.6% of patients associated with cirrhosis. The serum HBsAg was positive in 63% and anti-HBc in 80% of the patients who had checked the HBV markers. Of the 125 patients, 108 patients received resection, 67 patients were small HCC resection, 41 patients were non-small HCC resection, re-resection for subclinical recurrence or solitary lung metastasis was done in 26 patients with resection. Limited resection amounted to 54.6% of patients with resection. Of the 125 patients, 17 patients received palliative surgery other than resection, including hepatic artery ligation, cannulation, or their combination, etc. Eight out of the 17 patients received second stage resection due to marked shrinkage of tumor. It is concluded that early resection remained the major approach to get a long-term survivor, re-resection for subclinical recurrence is also of proved merit. Resection of huge tumor is still useful but less effective. Cyto-reduction and sequential resection is a new trend. Primary liver cancer (PLC) has long been recognized as incurable malignancy with extremely low 5-year survival rate. According to the cancer statistics in the United States, the relative 5-year survival rates for patients with PLC was 2% in 1960-1963, 3% in 1970-1973, 4% in 1974-1976, 3% in 1977-1980 and 5% in 1981-1986. Patients with PLC survived more than 5 years were rarely reported in the literature. In 1971, Curutchet collected worldwide data from 45 authors covering the period for 65 years (1905-1970), only 45 patients with PLC were found to be 5-year survivors. Thanks to the progress in tumor markers, particularly alpha fetoprotin (AFP) and new localization measurements, diagnosis and treatment are possible in subclinical stage. Based on combined strategies to the treatment of PLC including resection of small liver cancer, re-resection of subclinical recurrence after curative resection, multimodality treatment, and sequential resection after shrinkage of tumor, the 5-year survival of PLC has gradually increased.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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