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Dig Dis Sci. 1986 Sep;31(9 Suppl):133S-146S.

Primary liver cancer. Quadrennial review lecture.


Primary liver cancer, particularly HCC, is increasing in certain countries, notably Japan. Although hepatitis B virus has been etiologically linked to hepatocarcinogenesis and integration of its DNA into hepatocyte chromosomal DNA has been emphasized, other etiologic factors seem to have an interplay with virus infection. Histopathology of HCC has geographic variations. An expanding encapsulated HCC is most common in Japan, whereas it is nearly nonexistent in the West; such regional differences can only be explained by differences in the major etiologic factors. Early detection of HCC is now possible with ultrasound examination combined with AFP measurement, and this strategy has been executed with success in the Far East where HCC is endemic among cirrhotics. The speed of tumor growth can be measured with accuracy by ultrasound examination. Preneoplastic or early lesions of HCC in a cirrhotic liver seem to be adenomatous hyperplastic nodules or foci, and the conventional histological criteria for malignant liver cells do not seem applicable to such lesions. Although advanced cirrhosis is a real deterrent for hepatic surgery, hepatic resection affords a better survival compared with any nonsurgical therapeutic modality. Transcatheter arterial embolization is one of the current preferences of the hepatologist for inoperable patients. Lastly, a new staging scheme has been proposed for the assessment of prognosis and for comparison of efficacy of various therapeutic modalities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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