Is Hepatectomy for Huge Hepatocellular Carcinoma (≥10cm in Diameter) Safe and Effective? A Single-center Experience


Background: This retrospective study aimed to validate the safety and effectiveness of hepatectomy for huge hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Materials and
Methods: Data of patients who underwent hepatectomy for HCC between January 2006 and December 2012 were reviewed. The patients were divided into three groups: huge HCC(≥10cm in diameter), large HCC(≥5 but<10 cm in diameter) and small HCC(<5cm in diameter).
Results: Characteristics of pre-operative patients in all three groups were homogeneously distributed except for alpha fetal protein (AFP)(p<0.001).The 30, 60, 90-day post-operative mortality rates were not different among the three groups (p=0.785, p=0.560, and p=0.549). Laboratory data at 1, 3, and 7 days after surgery also did not vary. The 5-year overall survival (OS) and 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates in the huge and large HCC groups were lower than that of the small HCC group (OS: 32.5% vs 36.3% vs 71.2%, p=0.000; DFS: 20.0% vs 24.8% vs 40.7%, p=0.039), but there was no difference between the huge and large HCC groups (OS: 32.5% vs 36.3%,p=0.667; DFS: 20.0% vs 24.8%, p=0.540). In multivariate analysis, five independent poor prognostic factors that affected OS were significantly associated with worse survival (p﹤0.05), namely, AFP level, macrovascular invasion, Edmondsone Steiner grade, surgical margin and Ishak score. AFP level, macrovascular invasion, microvascular invasion, and surgical margin influenced disease-free survival independently (p﹤0.05).
Conclusions: The safety of hepatectomy for huge HCC is similar to that for large and small HCC; and this approach for huge HCC may achieve similar long-term survival and disease-free survival as for large HCC.