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HPB (Oxford). 2007;9(2):98-103. doi: 10.1080/13651820601156090.

Liver transplantation for non-hepatocellular carcinoma malignancy.

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Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232-4753, USA.


Liver transplantation (LT) for hepatocellular carcinoma is effective for selected patients. LT for other malignancies like cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), hepatoblastoma (HB), hepatic epithelioid hemangioepithelioma (HEHE), angiosarcoma (AS), and neuroendocrine tumors (NET) is being defined. For CCA, series that did not emphasize highly selected early stage disease and neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemoradiation had an average 5-year survival of 10%. However, emphasizing neoadjuvant radiation and chemosensitization in operatively confirmed stage I or II hilar CCA has led to improved 5-year survival, up to 82%. LT is indicated under strict research protocols at selected centers, for patients with early stage CCA and anatomically unresectable (Bismuth type IV) lesions. HB is typically sensitive to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. LT plays a role as primary surgical therapy for those individuals in whom tumors remain unresectable after chemotherapy or as rescue therapy for those who are incompletely resected, recur after resection, or develop hepatic insufficiency after chemotherapy and/or resection. Long-term survival is reported at 58-88%. HEHE is a multifocal tumor that lies somewhere between benign hemangiomas and malignant AS. The extensive multifocal nature makes resection difficult and LT an attractive option. Series on LT for HEHE report overall survival of 71-78% at 5 years. However, AS is an aggressive tumor and LT is contraindicated. For NET, resection of the primary tumor and all gross metastatic disease is reported to provide 5-year survival of 70-85%. LT has been employed for some patients for unresectable tumors or for palliation of medically uncontrollable symptoms with 5-year survival reported between 36% and 80%.

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