Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Coll Surg. 2007 Jan;204(1):1-6. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Outcomes and recurrence of initially resectable hepatocellular carcinoma meeting milan criteria: Rationale for partial hepatectomy as first strategy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. shinji.msrg@tmd.ac.jp



Partial hepatectomy and liver transplantation are considered curative treatments for small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) meeting the Milan criteria (solitary tumor <5 cm or up to 3 nodules <3 cm). This study was designed to clarify whether partial hepatectomy can be the first option in patients eligible for both treatments.


All patients (n = 152) underwent curative surgical operation for primary HCC during 2000 to 2005 at our hospital. Eighty-seven patients met Milan criteria and the remaining 65 did not. Outcomes were examined according to Milan criteria.


After partial hepatectomy, 3-year survival rate was 89.6% for the group that met Milan criteria, compared with 60.8% for the group that did not (p = 0.0044). Among patients with HCC who initially met the criteria, tumor recurrences were observed in 30 patients; 23 patients met criteria and 7 patients exceeded the criteria at first diagnosis of recurrence. Patients with recurrence within the criteria showed a higher 3-year survival rate compared with patients with recurrence exceeding the criteria (100% versus 19.8%; p < 0.0001). Analysis of clinicopathologic variables to predict mode of recurrence revealed tumor size (p < 0.0001) and lower histologic differentiation (p = 0.0326) as positive factors for recurrence exceeding Milan criteria.


Our results suggest that it is an appropriate strategy to treat HCC patients who meet Milan criteria with partial hepatectomy. It should be noted that approximately one-tenth of patients who initially met Milan criteria experienced postoperative recurrence that exceeded the criteria.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk