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Semin Surg Oncol. 1993 Jul-Aug;9(4):293-7.

Evolution of surgery in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma from the 1950s to the 1990s.

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Liver Cancer Institute, Shanghai Medical University, People's Republic of China.


In the 1950s, hepatic lobectomy for huge hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has benefited 5-10% of HCC patients; in the 1970s, limited resection for small HCC and reresection for recurrence have benefited another 5-10% HCC patients. Cytoreduction and sequential resection for unresectable HCC might be of benefit to a further 5-10% HCC patients in the 1990s. Analysis of 1,642 patients with pathologically proven HCC in 1959-1991 demonstrated that the series 5-year survival has increased from 3.0% (n = 136) in the 1960s, to 12.2% (n = 440) in the 1970s, to 40.2% (n = 1,066) in the 1980s, which was correlated to the increasing number of limited resections for small HCC, reresections for subclinical recurrence, and cytoreductions and sequential resections for portions of unresectable HCC. With the advances in early detection, multimodality treatment, and changing concepts in surgical oncology, the role of surgery in the treatment of HCC has increased.

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