Center for Liver Cancer, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is 3rd leading cause of cancer in Korea and the prognosis for HCC patients is poor. For assessing the present treatment outcome, this study analyzed the three-year survival rate (3-YSR) and the prognostic factors for patients with HCC in Korea.
Between November 2000 and December 2003, 905 patients with HCC who were diagnosed and treated at the National Cancer Center Korea were enrolled in this study. The clinical variables, tumor characteristics and survival periods were analyzed.
The mean age of all patients was 56.2+/-10.3 years and 732 (80.9%) patients were male (M:F=4.2:1). 508 (56.1%) patients died and the median survival period was 15.3 months. The overall 3-YSR of the patients with modified UICC stage I, II, III, IVa and IVb were 67.4%, 65.2%, 30.7%, 9.0% and 5.0%, respectively. The modified UICC stage could not differentiate stage I from II, and stage IVa from IVb, on the 3-YSR. The 3-YSR of the Child-Pugh class A patients with modified UICC stage I or II was 85.4% by surgical resection and it was 69.6% by transcatheter chemoembolization (TACE), respectively (P= .461), and those values for patients with stage III were 49.2% and 36.8%, respectively (P=.081). As compared with systemic chemotherapy or conservative therapy, TACE increased the survival rate more for the Child-Pugh class A patients with stage IV. The independent prognostic factors were serum AFP, portal vein thrombosis, the Child-Pugh classification and the stage of HCC.
This follow-up study will be helpful in assessing the results of treatments for HCC and it will provide data for the establishment of a more effective treatment strategy.