Background/purpose: Although many factors related to the tumor or the hepatic functional reserve may affect the outcome of partial hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), these factors have not yet been intensively investigated in patients with solitary HCC. The purpose of this study is to determine the clinicopathological factors influencing the long-term outcomes of partial hepatectomy for solitary HCC.
Methods: Data on 266 consecutive patients with a solitary HCC who underwent curative hepatectomy between 1997 and 2006 were analyzed with regard to prognosis.
Results: Overall survival rates at 3, 5, and 10 years were 89.5, 79.6, and 56.1%, respectively. The significant independent predictors for overall survival included hepatitis C virus infection, liver cirrhosis, and prolonged prothrombin activity. Disease-free survival rates at 3, 5, and 10 years were 51.7, 41.1, and 20.4%, respectively. The significant independent predictors for disease-free survival included elevated levels of aspartate amino transferase, decreased platelet counts, presence of liver cirrhosis, and prolonged prothrombin activity. Tumor-related factors such as tumor size and microscopic vascular invasion were not significant predictors of overall or disease-free survival.
Conclusions: The long-term outcomes of patients with a solitary HCC who underwent partial hepatectomy mainly depended on the background liver status but not on tumor-related factors; this suggests that partial hepatectomy is a remarkably effective antitumor therapy. If the hepatic functional reserve is within the permissible range, partial hepatectomy should be considered as the treatment of choice for patients with a solitary HCC.