Background: Previous studies have demonstrated improved in-hospital mortality after hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at teaching hospitals. The objective of this study was to evaluate if resection of HCC at academic cancer programs (ACP) is associated with improved 10-year survival. Study Design: Using the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) (1998 to 2011), we evaluated patients undergoing hepatic resection for HCC at ACPs, comprehensive community cancer programs (CCCPs), and community cancer programs (CCPs). High volume cancer programs (HVCPs) were defined as performing 10 or more hepatectomies per year. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models by stepwise selection were applied to estimate hazard ratios (HR) of predictors of survival. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to generate survival curves at each facility type, and survival rates were compared using the log-rank test. Results: We identified 12,757 patients undergoing hepatic resection for HCC at ACPs (n = 8,404), CCPs (n = 483), and CCCPs (n = 3,870). Sixty-two percent (n = 5,191) of patients treated at ACPs were at high volume institutions compared with 11.6% (n = 446) and 0% of CCCPs and CCPs, respectively (p < 0.0001). On multivariable analysis, patients undergoing hepatic resection at transplant centers (p < 0.0001) and HVCPs had significantly improved survival (p < 0.0001). Adjusted 10-year survival rates were 28.7% at high volume ACPs, 28.2% at high volume CCCPs, 24.9% at low volume CCCPs, 25.1% at low volume ACPs, and 21.3% at CCPs (p ≤ 0.0001). Conclusions: Patients undergoing hepatic resection for HCC at HVCPs had a significantly improved 10-year survival. Regionalization of HCC treatment to HVCPs may improve long-term survival.
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