Liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer criteria remains controversial. Strict candidate selection is crucial to achieve optimal results in this population. This study explored postoperative outcomes and developed a preoperative predictive formula to identify patients most likely to benefit from liver resection.
In total, 382 patients who underwent liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer resection criteria between 2000 and 2017 were identified from a multicenter database with the Hiroshima Surgical study group of Clinical Oncology. An overall survival prediction model was developed, and patients were classified by risk status.
The 5-year overall survival after curative resection was 50.0%. Overall survival multivariate analysis identified that a high a-fetoprotein level, macrovascular invasion, and high total tumor burden were independent prognostic risk factors; these factors were used to formulate risk scores. Patients were divided into low-, moderate-, and high-risk groups; the 5-year overall survival was 65.7%, 49.5%, and 17.0% (P < .001), and the 5-year recurrence-free survival was 31.3%, 26.2%, and 0%, respectively (P < .001). The model performance was good (C-index, 0.76). Both the early and extrahepatic recurrence increased with higher risk score.
The prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer resection criteria depended on a high a-fetoprotein level, macrovascular invasion, and high total tumor burden, and risk scores based on these factors stratified the prognoses. Liver resection should be considered in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer criteria with a low or moderate-risk score.
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Published online: October 29, 2021
Accepted: September 11, 2021
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