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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2012 Dec;38(12):1189-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2012.07.112. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

Tumor size of hepatocellular carcinoma in noncirrhotic liver: a controversial predictive factor for outcome after resection.

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  • 1Service de Chirurgie Digestive et Transplantations, Hôpital Huriez, Rue M. Polonovski, CHU, Univ Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France. stephanie.truant@chru-lille.fr



Hepatocellular carcinoma in noncirrhotic liver (NC-HCC) presents usually with large size, which is seen as a contraindication to liver transplantation (LT) or even resection. The objective of our single-center study was to identify prognostic factors following resection of large NC-HCCs and to subsequently devise a treatment strategy (including LT) in selected patients.


From 2000 to 2010, 89 patients who had hepatic resection for NC-HCC (large ≥ 8 cm in 52) were analyzed with regard to pathological findings, postoperative and long-term outcome.


Five patients died postoperatively. After a mean follow-up of 35 ± 30 months, NC-HCC recurred in 36 patients (26/47 survivors in group 8 cm+, 10/37 in group 8 cm-; p = 0.007). Five-year overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) rates were significantly worse for group 8 cm+ (43.4% vs. 89.2% and 39.3% vs. 60.7% for group 8 cm-, p < 0.05). Seven patients underwent re-hepatectomy and/or LT for isolated intrahepatic recurrence, with 5-year DFS of 57.1%. In a multivariate analysis, the factors associated with poor OS and DFS were vascular invasion and tumor size ≥ 8 cm in the overall population and vascular invasion, fibrosis and satellite nodules in group 8 cm+. Adjuvant transarterial chemotherapy was a protective factor in group 8 cm+. In 22 isolated NC-HCC cases with no vascular invasion or fibrosis, tumor size had no impact on five-year DFS (85%).


Although patients with NC-HCC ≥ 8 cm had a poorer prognosis, the absence of vascular invasion or fibrosis was associated with excellent survival, regardless of the tumor size. In recurrent patients, aggressive treatment (including LT) can be considered.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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