The management and prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: What has changed in 20 years?

Sun Young Yim, Yeon Seok Seo, Chang Ho Jung, Tae Hyung Kim, Jae Min Lee, Eun Sun Kim, Bora Keum, Young Kul Jong, Hyunggin An, Ji Hoon Kim, Hyung Joon Yim, Dong Sik Kim, Yoon Tae Jeen, Jong Eun Yeon, Hong Sik Lee, Hoon Jai Chun, Kwan Soo Byun, Soon Ho Um, Chang Duck Kim, Ho Sang Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background & aims: There has been remarkable progress in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) during the last several decades, but its effect on the prognosis of HCC patient needs clarification. We analysed the changes that affected prognosis of HCC patients diagnosed over two different eras. Methods: A retrospective study of 1318 patients diagnosed with HCC from 1986 to 2012 was conducted. Analysis was done according to two cohorts, cohort 1 (patients diagnosed with HCC from 1986 to 1992) and cohort 2 (patients diagnosed from 2006 to 2012). Results: Hepatitis B virus was the most common cause of liver disease for both cohorts (66.2% and 66.0%). The proportion of patients with Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage 0/A was significantly lower in cohort 1 than in cohort 2 (14.4% vs. 39.5%, P < 0.001). The proportions of patients diagnosed during surveillance and general health check-up were significantly higher in cohort 2 than in cohort 1 (28.6% vs. 10.6% and 26.3% vs. 7.9%, respectively) while those diagnosed during symptomatic evaluation was significantly higher in cohort 1 than in cohort 2 (45.1 vs. 81.4%, P < 0.001). Surgical resection rate was similar between the two cohorts (26.1% vs 26%) while the transcatheter arterial chemoembolization rate which was the highest in cohort 1 (40.6%) was overtaken by radiofrequency ablation in cohort 2 (55%) at BCLC stage 0/A. Median survival duration in cohort 2 was significantly longer than cohort 1 (65.0 vs. 7.9 months, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Implementation of national cancer surveillance and the advancement of treatment modalities have likely led to early detection of HCC and improvements in prognosis over the last 20 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalLiver International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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