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Efficacy of loco-regional treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma prior to living donor liver transplantation: a report from a single center in Egypt

Authors Shaker MK, Montasser IF, Sakr M, Elgharib M, Dabbous HM, Ebada H, El Dorry A, Bahaa M, El Meteini M

Received 24 July 2017

Accepted for publication 14 December 2017

Published 27 February 2018 Volume 2018:5 Pages 29—36


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ahmed Kaseb

Mohammad Kamal Shaker,1 Iman F Montasser,1 Mohamed Sakr,1 Mohamed Elgharib,2 Hany M Dabbous,1 Hend Ebada,1 Ahmed El Dorry,2 Mohamed Bahaa,3 Mahmoud El Meteini3

1Department of Tropical Medicine, 2Department of Radiodiagnosis and Interventional Radiology, 3Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Ain Shams Center for Organ Transplantation (ASCOT), Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Background and aim: The number of loco-regional therapies (LRTs) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has increased dramatically during the past decade, bridging or downstaging patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation. This study aimed to analyze the outcomes of LRTs prior to living donor liver transplantation in patients with HCC. 
Methods: Sixty-two HCC patients received living donor liver transplantation at Ain Shams Center for Organ Transplantation over a 2-year period. Data from 29 HCC patients were analyzed. Twenty patients (68.97%) met the Milan Criteria and 4 patients (13.8%) exceeded the Milan Criteria, but met the University of California, San Francisco Criteria. Five patients (17.2%) exceeded the University of California, San Francisco Criteria. All patients underwent preoperative LRTs. The protocol of bridging/downstaging, methods, duration of follow-up, the number of patients who were successfully downstaged before liver transplantation (LT), and their outcomes after LT were recorded.
Results: There was a decrease in the mean overall size of focal lesions (from mean 5.46 to 4.11 cm) in the last abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan after LRT (p=0.0018). Discrepancies between the radiological findings and histopathology were as follows: in 16 patients (55.17%) the CT findings were consistent with the histopathological examination of the explanted liver. Underestimated tumor stage was documented in 10 patients (34.48%), and was overestimated by CT scan findings in 3 patients (10.34%). The 1-year survival rate was 93%. No patient had HCC recurrence after median follow-up of 21 months (range 1–46 months).
Conclusion: These results encouraged tumor bridging/downstaging as a potential treatment option among carefully selected patients with HCC beyond conventional criteria for LT. Further studies on a large number of patients are necessary.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, loco-regional therapy, LRT , liver transplantation, Milan criteria, beyond Milan, HCC recurrence, bridge/down staging

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