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Rev Gastroenterol Disord. 2003 Winter;3(1):8-24.

Management of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ranks fifth in frequency worldwide among all malignancies and causes 1 million deaths annually. The management of HCC begins with diagnostic confirmation by radiologic imaging or histology. Staging is essential, as the choice of therapy depends on the functional state of the liver and the extent of tumor growth. Surgery, in the form of either hepatic resection or orthotopic liver transplantation, is the only potentially curative treatment. Transarterial chemoembolization is commonly used as either palliative treatment or adjunctive therapy to surgery, and a survival benefit with this therapy has just recently been demonstrated in a randomized, controlled trial. Patients with inoperable HCC may benefit from local ablative therapy that may still have curative potential in those with sufficiently small lesions and adequate liver function. For patients with advanced HCC, systemic chemotherapy has been widely employed, despite low efficacy and significant complication rate. Tamoxifen did not improve survival in large clinical trials. Gene therapy is an exciting approach to treating HCC but is still largely confined to preclinical and experimental settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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