Purpose: We hypothesized that the outcome of liver transplantation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has improved over the past decade because of the application of published criteria for patient selection. In this study, we compared the outcome of liver transplantation in patients with and without HCC at different time periods using the United Network for Organ Sharing data. Patients and Methods: We excluded children, patients with multiple organ transplantation or retransplantation, and those with incomplete survival data. The study period was arbitrarily divided into three time intervals: 1987 to 1991, 1992 to 1995, and 1996 to 2001. Results: During the study period, 985 patients with HCC (HCC group), and 33,339 without HCC underwent liver transplantation (control group). Kaplan-Meier patient and graft survivals were significantly lower for the HCC group compared with the control group. Cox regression analysis (after adjusting for other confounding variables) confirmed a lower patient survival in the HCC group (1-year survival, 77.0% v 86.7%; hazard ratio [HR], 1.7; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.0; P < .0001) compared with the control group (5-year survival, 48.2% v 74.7%; HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.9 to 2.4; P < .0001); HCC was an independent predictor of survival. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant improvement in 5-year patient survival with time in patients with HCC (1987 to 1991, 25.3%; 1992 to 1995, 46.6%; 1996 to 2001, 61.1%; P < .0001). During the same period, there was only minimal improvement in survival among the control group. Conclusion: Five-year survival of patients transplanted for HCC is excellent, with a steady improvement in survival over the past decade. It is possible that the published criteria for patient selection may have contributed to the better outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research