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J Surg Oncol. 2004 Sep 1;87(3):139-42.

Management of hepatocellular carcinoma in renal transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Centre for the Study of Liver Disease, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

In Hong Kong where hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for 20% of all malignant transformations in renal transplant recipients. The aim of the present study was to review the management and outcome of HCC in renal transplant recipients at a specialized surgical center.

METHOD:

A retrospective analysis on the data collected prospectively in a tertiary referral center.

RESULTS:

From January 1991 to December 2002, five renal transplant recipients were diagnosed to have primary HCC and received treatment in our center. There were four men and one woman with a median age of 47 (range, 38-68) years. Four of them had cadaveric renal transplantation whereas one had live donor transplantation. All of them were HBV carriers. The median tumor size was 3.5 cm (range, 1.8-8 cm). All tumors, except one, were diagnosed in sub-clinical stage by surveillance serum alpha-fetoprotein assay and percutaneous ultrasonography. Four patients were treated with surgical resection and one received transarterial oily chemoembolization (TOCE) as their primary treatments. There was one peri-operative death and the remaining three surgically treated patients were alive 4, 62, and 64 months after the resection. One patient developed recurrence 18 months after curative resection and was treated with TOCE. The patient with unresectable disease was alive for 50 months after the initial diagnosis. The surgical resection and overall survival rates of these patients were better than the published results.

CONCLUSION:

Early detection with regular serum alpha-fetoprotein assay and ultrasonographic study, vigilant care in the peri-operative period, long-term follow-up for detection and treatment of recurrence, as well as close collaboration between renal physicians and liver surgeons may improve the outcome of treatment of HCC in renal transplant recipients.

Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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