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Semin Liver Dis. 2010 Feb;30(1):61-74. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1247133. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Current strategy for staging and treatment: the BCLC update and future prospects.

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Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) Group, Liver Unit, ICMDM, Hospital ClĂ­nic, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Staging and treatment indication are relevant topics in the management of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and for optimal results, they have to take into account liver function, tumor stage, and physical status. For any staging system to be meaningful it has to link staging with treatment indication; this should be based on robust scientific data. Currently, the sole proposal that serves both aims is the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) approach. It takes into account the relevant parameters of all important dimensions and divides patients into very early/early, intermediate, advanced, and end-stage. Early-stage HCC patients should be considered for potentially curative options such as resection, ablation, and transplantation. Patients at intermediate stage benefit from chemoembolization, whereas patients at an advanced stage, or who cannot benefit from options of higher priority, have sorafenib as the standard treatment. Finally, patients at end-stage should merely receive palliative care.

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