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Importance of tumor size at diagnosis as a prognostic factor for hepatocellular carcinoma survival: a population-based study

Authors Wu GY, Wu J, Wang BH, Zhu XL, Shi XL, Ding YT

Received 19 June 2018

Accepted for publication 8 August 2018

Published 10 October 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 4401—4410


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo

Guoyi Wu,1,2 Jing Wu,3 Baohua Wang,3 Xiaolei Zhu,4 Xiaolei Shi,1,2 Yitao Ding1,2

1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China; 2Clinical Medical Center for Digestive Disease of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, China; 3National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China; 4Office of Noncommunicable Disease Control and Community Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China

Objective: The effects of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumor size on clinical presentation and treatment selection and its role as a prognostic factor remain unclear. The present study is a comprehensive analysis of the clinical correlation between tumor size at diagnosis and pathological grades, clinical staging, disparities of treatment, and survival of patients with HCC.
Materials and methods: Patients with HCC were separated into groups according to tumor size as follows: 0.1–2.0, 2.1–5.0, 5.1–10.0, and 10.1–20.0 cm. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between tumor size at diagnosis and pathological grade, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) historic stage A, and treatment selection. The survival of HCC patients stratified by tumor size was estimated by Kaplan–Meier and 5-year survival analyses using the log-rank test. Multivariable analysis of overall survival was performed using the Cox proportional hazards model. Tumor size at diagnosis was an independent risk factor of pathological grade, and SEER historic stage A was revealed by logistic regression analysis.
Results: The 5-year survival rate was 21.9% vs 14.3% vs 9.2% vs 7.7% for all HCC patients and 31.2% vs 23.6% vs 20.3% vs 15.5% for patients who underwent surgery with tumor sizes of 0.1–2.0 vs 2.1–5.0 and 5.1–10.0 vs 10.1–20.0 cm, respectively; multivariable Cox regression analysis identified tumor size at diagnosis as an independent predictor of survival risk with HR of 1.00 vs 1.66 vs 2.92 vs 3.67, respectively.
Conclusion: Tumor size at diagnosis could be used as an independent risk predictor associated with histological grade, stage, selection of surgery, and survival in HCC.

Keywords: HCC, tumor size, SEER, prognosis, overall survival

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