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Authors Hoehn RS, Hanseman DJ, Jernigan PL, Wima K, Ertel AE, Abbott DE, Shah SA, Cincinnati Research in Outcomes and Safety in Surgery (CROSS)
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Journal HPB (Oxford) Volume: 17 Issue: 9 Pages: 747-52
Publish Date 2015 Sep
PubMed ID 26278321
PMC ID 4557647

The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing, but surgical management continues to be underutilized. This retrospective review investigates treatment decisions and survival for early stage HCC.The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was queried for all patients with curable HCC (Stage I/II) from 1998 to 2011 (n = 43 859). Patient and tumour characteristics were analysed to determine predictors of having surgery and of long-term survival.Only 39.7% of patients received surgery for early stage HCC. Surgical therapies included resection (34.6%), transplant (28.7%), radiofrequency ablation (27.1%) and other therapies. Surgery correlated with improved median survival (48.3 versus 8.4 months), but was only performed on 42% of stage I patients and 50% of tumours smaller than 2 cm. Patients were more likely to receive surgery if they were Asian or white race, had private insurance, higher income, better education, or treatment at an academic centre (P < 0.05). However, private insurance and treatment at an academic centre were the only variables associated with improved survival (P < 0.05).Fewer than half of patients with curable HCC receive surgery, possibly as a result of multiple socioeconomic variables. Past these barriers to care, survival is related to adequate and reliable treatment. Further efforts should address these disparities in treatment decisions.

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