The current clinical reality of tumor stages and primary treatments of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is poorly understood. This study reviewed the distribution of tumor stages and primary treatment modalities among a large population of patients with primary HCC. Medical records of patients treated between January 2003 and October 2013 for primary HCC at our tertiary hospital in China were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 6241 patients were analyzed. The distribution of Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stages was as follows: stage 0/A, 28.9%; stage B, 16.2%; stage C, 53.6%; stage D, 1.3%. The distribution of Hong Kong Liver Cancer (HKLC) stages was as follows: stage I, 8.4%; stage IIa, 1.5%; stage IIb, 29.0%; stage IIIa, 10.0%; stage IIIb, 33.6%; stage IVa, 3.4%; stage IVb, 2.5%; stage Va, 0.2%; stage Vb, 11.4%. The most frequent therapy was hepatic resection for patients with BCLC-0/A/B disease, and transarterial chemoembolization for patients with BCLC-C disease. Both these treatments were the most frequent for patients with HKLC I to IIIb disease, while systemic chemotherapy was the most frequent first-line therapy for patients with HKLC IVa or IVb disease. The most frequent treatment for patients with HKLC Va/Vb disease was traditional Chinese medicine. In conclusion, Prevalences of BCLC-B and -C disease, and of HKLC I to IIIb disease, were relatively high in our patient population. Hepatic resection and transarterial chemoembolization were frequent first-line therapies.
Keywords: hepatic resection; hepatocellular carcinoma; transarterial chemoembolization; treatment selection; tumor stage.