Background: Primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is common in Turkey and its prognosis is poor. In the current study the authors analyzed the prognostic factors and survival in Turkish patients with inoperable HCC with cirrhosis.
Methods: Clinical and demographic data of 91 patients consecutively admitted to the authors' institute from 1988 to 2000 were reviewed. A univariate analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method to identify predictors of survival and were compared using the Mantel log-rank test. Independent factors correlated with survival were determined using the Cox regression analysis.
Results: Cirrhosis was diagnosed in all patients. Coinfections with HCV and HBV were not observed. Overall median survival was 16.9 months. On univariate analysis, poor performance status (Eastern Cooperative Group); high alpha-fetoprotein (AFP); low albumin; high bilirubin; high alkaline phosphatase; high lactic dehydrogenase; high alanine and aspartate aminotransferase; high gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase; high platelet count; low prothrombin activity; hepatitis B surface antigen positivity; the presence of ascites, encephalopathy, and portal vein thrombosis; poor differentiation and diffuse type of tumor; and no treatment were associated with shorter survival. Multivariate analysis showed that only independent risk factors were related to performance status (Eastern Cooperative Group) at initial presentation and with pathologic characteristic of the tumor: abnormal AFP level.
Conclusion: HCC occurred only in patients with liver cirrhosis. Survival time can be predicted from information collected by the physician at the initial assessment.