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, 67 (5), 1784-1796

Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Need a Personalized Management: A Lesson From Clinical Practice

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Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Need a Personalized Management: A Lesson From Clinical Practice

Edoardo Giovanni Giannini et al. Hepatology.

Abstract

The Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) advanced stage (BCLC C) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) includes a heterogeneous population, where sorafenib alone is the recommended treatment. In this study, our aim was to assess treatment and overall survival (OS) of BCLC C patients subclassified according to clinical features (performance status [PS], macrovascular invasion [MVI], extrahepatic spread [EHS] or MVI + EHS) determining their allocation to this stage. From the Italian Liver Cancer database, we analyzed 835 consecutive BCLC C patients diagnosed between 2008 and 2014. Patients were subclassified as: PS1 alone (n = 385; 46.1%), PS2 alone (n = 146; 17.5%), MVI (n = 224; 26.8%), EHS (n = 51; 6.1%), and MVI + EHS (n = 29; 3.5%). MVI, EHS, and MVI + EHS patients had larger and multifocal/massive HCCs and higher alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels than PS1 and PS2 patients. Median OS significantly declined from PS1 (38.6 months) to PS2 (22.3 months), EHS (11.2 months), MVI (8.2 months), and MVI + EHS (3.1 months; P < 0.001). Among MVI patients, OS was longer in those with peripheral than with central (portal trunk) MVI (11.2 vs. 7.1 months; P = 0.005). The most frequent treatments were: curative approaches in PS1 (39.7%), supportive therapy in PS2 (41.8%), sorafenib in MVI (39.3%) and EHS (37.3%), and best supportive care in MVI + EHS patients (51.7%). Independent prognostic factors were: Model for End-stage Liver Disease score, Child-Pugh class, ascites, platelet count, albumin, tumor size, MVI, EHS, AFP levels, and treatment type.

Conclusion: BCLC C stage does not identify patients homogeneous enough to be allocated to a single stage. PS1 alone is not sufficient to include a patient into this stage. The remaining patients should be subclassified according to PS and tumor features, and new patient-tailored therapeutic indications are needed. (Hepatology 2018;67:1784-1796).

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