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Salvage living donor liver transplantation for posthepatectomy recurrence: a higher incidence of recurrence but promising strategy for long-term survival

Authors Chan KM, Cheng CH, Wu TH, Lee CF, Wu TJ, Chou HS, Lee WC

Received 14 May 2019

Accepted for publication 12 July 2019

Published 2 August 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 7295—7305

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S215732

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo


Kun-Ming Chan, Chih-Hsien Cheng, Tsung-Han Wu, Chen-Fang Lee, Ting-Jung Wu, Hong-Shiue Chou, Wei-Chen Lee

Department of General Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Background: The scarcity of deceased donor organ donation has led to increasing utilization of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT), which is an optimal treatment for cirrhosis associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The study thus aims to analyze prognostic factors and beneficial effects of LDLT for patients with HCC.
Methods: All patients who underwent LDLT for HCC were included in this study. A multivariate analysis of patients’ clinicopathologic parameters was performed to determine prognostic factors. Subsequently, the type of LDLT was further analyzed and compared based on the result of multivariate analysis.
Results: Overall, 36 (11.9%) of 303 patients were identified as having HCC recurrence after LDLT. Salvage LDLT (sLDLT) defined by liver transplantation for those patients with recurrent HCC after primary liver resection (LR) was identified as the major prognostic factor of HCC recurrence following the transplantation (HR=2.49 [1.12–5.54], p=0.025). The HCC recurrence incidence and recurrence-free survival after LDLT were significantly inferior in the salvage group than the other group. The pre-transplantation factors were further evaluated and resulted in only maximum tumour size ≥5 cm at primary LR(HR=10.79 [2.10–55.43], p=0.004) affecting post-transplantation HCC recurrence in those patients who had been performed sLDLT. However, patients receiving salvage LDLT had 5- and 10-year overall survival of 86.7% and 52.9%, respectively, measured from the time of initial HCC diagnosis.
Conclusion: Overall, LDLT achieves a satisfactory result with low incidence of HCC recurrence based on certain transplantation criteria. Despite the higher incidence of HCC recurrence after sLDLT, it remains a promising strategy to improve long-term outcomes.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, living donor liver transplantation, salvage, recurrence, prognosis

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