Surgical management of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Research paper by Tony Cy TC Pang, Vincent Wt VW Lam

Indexed on: 03 Mar '15Published on: 03 Mar '15Published in: World journal of hepatology


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide. Standard potentially curative treatments are either resection or transplantation. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the surgical management of HCC, as well as highlight current issues in hepatic resection and transplantation. In summary, due to the relationship between HCC and chronic liver disease, the management of HCC depends both on tumour-related and hepatic function-related considerations. As such, HCC is currently managed largely through non-surgical means as the criteria, in relation to the above considerations, for surgical management is still largely restrictive. For early stage tumours, both resection and transplantation offer fairly good survival outcomes (5 years overall survival of around 50%). Selection therefore would depend on the level of hepatic function derangement, organ availability and local expertise. Patients with intermediate stage cancers have limited options, with resection being the only potential for cure. Otherwise, locoregional therapy with transarterial chemoembolization or radiofrequency ablation are viable options. Current issues in resection and transplantation are also briefly discussed such as laparoscopic resection, ablation vs resection, anatomical vs non-anatomical resection, transplantation vs resection, living donor liver transplantation and salvage liver transplantation.