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Transplant Proc. 2010 Jan-Feb;42(1):296-8. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.11.019.

Bridge therapy in hepatocellular carcinoma before liver transplantation: the experience of two Chilean centers.

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1
Liver Transplantation Program, Clínica Alemana, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is currently an established therapy for small, early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within the Milan criteria. Long waiting times due to the shortage of donor organs can result in tumor progression and drop-out from OLT candidacy. Therefore a wide variety of procedures are necessary before OLT. The aim of this retrospective study was to review our experience in relation to bridge therapy prior to OLT for HCC.

METHODS:

This was a retrospective database review of all of the patient who underwent transplantation in our institutions between January 1993 and June 2009. We analyzed patients with a diagnosis of HCC in the explant.

RESULTS:

Among 29 patients, including 12 who were diagnosed by the explant and 17 prior to transplantation, 88% underwent bridge therapy during a mean waiting time to OLT of 12 months. Among the 23 procedures, namely 1.5 procedures per patient, included most frequently chemoembolization (48%), alcohol ablation (30%), radiofrequency ablation (13%), and surgery (9%). Thirty-three percent of the explants contained lesions within the Milan criteria. In our series the 5-year survival rate for patients transplanted for HCC was 86%; in the bridge therapy group, it was 73%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence of patients who underwent bridge therapy (52%) was similar to other reported experiences, but the fulfillment of Milan criteria in the explants was lower. Among the bridge therapy group, the survival was slightly lower, probably because this group displayed more advanced disease.

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