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Exp Clin Transplant. 2017 Mar;15(Suppl 2):1-6.

New Developments in Orthotopic Liver Transplant for Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

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Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


The use of orthotopic liver transplant for hepatocellular carcinoma was a major advance, pioneered by Thomas E. Starzl as a way to circumvent the limitations imposed on the liver surgeon by the presence of cirrhosis and liver failure. Patients with a few small tumors, whatever their degree of liver damage, may expect prolonged survival (70% at 5 years). Patients with more advanced tumors have high recurrence rates and more limited survival, possibly due to immune suppression or pretransplant understaging of their tumors. Another possibility is that patients with micrometastases have a longer survival time, during which the metastases eventually become evident. Recent advances include the identification of patients using levels of tumor markers to allow more careful patient selection with better outcomes. The contributions of molecular signatures and the new, effective antiviral agents are possibly significant.

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