Response Evaluation Criteria in Cancer of the Liver (RECICL) proposed by the Liver Cancer Study Group of Japan (2009 Revised Version)

Hepatol Res. 2010 Jul;40(7):686-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2010.00674.x.


The World Health Organization (WHO) criteria and Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) are inappropriate to assess the direct effects of treatment on the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by locoreginal therapies such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Therefore, establishment of response evaluation criteria solely devoted for HCC is needed urgently in the clinical practice as well as in the clinical trials of HCC treatment, such as molecular targeted therapies, which cause necrosis of the tumor. Response Evaluation Criteria in Cancer of the Liver (RECICL) was revised in 2009 by Liver Cancer Study Group of Japan based on the 2004 version of RECICL, which was commonly used in Japan. Major revised points of the RECICL 2009 is to provide TE4a (Complete response with enough ablative margin) and TE4b (complete response without enough ablative margin) for local ablation therapy. Second revised point is that setting the timing at which the overall treatment effects are assessed. Third point is that emergence of new lesion in the liver is regarded as progressive disease, different from 2004 version. Finally, 3 tumor markers including alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 and des-gamma-carboxy protein (DCP) were also added for the overall treatment response. We hope this new treatment response criteria, RECICL, proposed by Liver Cancer Study Group of Japan will benefit the HCC treatment response evaluation in the setting of the daily clinical practice and clinical trials as well not only in Japan, but also internationally.