Purpose: The BCLC staging classification has been widely endorsed to predict the prognosis of patients with HCC. However, its validity as a means of therapeutic instructions needs to be challenged. This study aimed to evaluate perioperative and long-term outcomes of surgical resection in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging.
Methods: This study used a prospectively maintained database consisting of a consecutive series of 511 Chinese patients with advanced HCC who underwent surgical resection in a hepatobiliary surgical center from 2001 to 2007. Mortality, morbidity, long-term overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were evaluated.
Results: Hospital mortality was 2.3%, and overall morbidity was 31.3%. After a median follow-up period of 27.8 months (range, 0-112 months), the 1-, 3- and 5-year OS rate was 69.9, 41.2 and 30.5%, and the 1-, 3- and 5-year DFS rate was 48.2, 30.3 and 24.0%, respectively. The 1-, 3- and 5-year OS and DFS rates were significantly poorer in patients with vascular invasion and/or extrahepatic spread than those in patients without (both P < 0.001), and also poorer in patients with biliary invasion than those in patients without (both P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Surgical resection could be considered in part of patients with advanced HCC (BCLC stage C), with low mortality, acceptable morbidity and favorable survival benefits. These results imply that BCLC recommendations for treatment schedules of advanced HCC need to be re-evaluated.