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Cancer Manag Res. 2018 Feb 21;10:361-369. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S152707. eCollection 2018.

Surgical resection improves long-term survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma across different Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stages.

Guo H1,2, Wu T2, Lu Q1,3, Li M2, Guo JY2, Shen Y4, Wu Z1,3, Nan KJ2, Lv Y1,3, Zhang XF1,3.

Author information

Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
Institute of Advanced Surgical Technology and Engineering, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.



Surgical resection remains a controversial treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within different Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stages. The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of patients undergoing surgical resection (SR) compared to non-surgical treatments across different BCLC stages.

Patients and methods:

One thousand four hundred forty-three HCC patients within BCLC 0, A, B and C stages were identified. Overall survival was compared by log-rank test among patients within different BCLC stages and among patients receiving different treatments (SR vs locoregional therapy [LRT] vs best supportive care). Propensity score matching analysis was introduced to mitigate the confounding biases between the groups.


The median survival time of the patients diminished from early, intermediate to advanced BCLC stages (BCLC 0-A 43 [range 0-100] months vs BCLC B 32 [range 0-100] months vs BCLC C 27 [range 0-90] months, all p<0.05). Patients undergoing SR presented with better liver function and more favorable tumor status and, consequently, displayed significant better overall survival than patients receiving LRT or best supportive care at different BCLC stages. In adjusted cohort after propensity score matching, patients who were surgically treated consistently had more favorable outcome than those who were non-curatively treated across different BCLC stages (median survival [range]: BCLC stage B: resection 45 [0-100] months vs LRT 36 [0-81] months, p=0.002; BCLC stage C: resection 39 [3-77] months vs LRT 27 [0-54] months, p=0.003).


Surgical resection should be considered as a radical treatment for selected HCC patients regardless of the BCLC stages when appropriate.


Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stages; hepatocellular carcinoma; outcome; surgery

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