Liver transplantation can provide definitive cure for patients with cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) when used appropriately. Advances in the management of HCC have allowed improved control of HCC while waiting for liver transplantation and new approaches to candidate selection particularly with regard to tumor burden and downstaging protocols. Additionally, there have been recent changes in allocation policy related to HCC in the U.S. that cap the HCC MELD exception at 34 points and implement a 6-month delay in a HCC MELD exception. This review examines the U.S. liver transplant allocation policy related to HCC, comprehensively details locoregional therapy options in HCC patients awaiting liver transplantation, and considers the impact of an increasing burden of HCC on future liver graft allocation policy. Liver Transpl 21:1543-1552, 2015.
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