BioScience Trends. 2022;16(3):207-211. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01199)

Liver transplantation for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: Its current status and advances

Sugawara Y, Hibi T


Liver transplantation is one of the best treatment options for selected patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The Milan criteria (a single tumor with a maximum size of 5 cm or two or three tumors with a maximum size of 3 cm without evidence of vascular or extrahepatic involvement or metastasis) are one of the most common criteria to select patients with HCC for transplantation, though they are considered too restrictive. A moderate expansion of the criteria has been found to yield comparable recurrence-free survival rates. HCC will recur in approximately 10% of patients, and mostly within the first 2 years after transplantation. The preoperative level of alpha-fetoprotein, macrovascular invasion, tumor size, and tumor number are prognostic factors for recurrence. Recurrence of HCC after transplantation results in a poor prognosis.

KEYWORDS: liver transplantation, Milan criteria, hepatocellular carcinoma

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