Analysis of the risk factors for early death due to disease recurrence or progression within 1 year after hepatectomy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma
1 The Department of General Surgery, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, North 15, West 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-8638, Japan
2 The Department of Transplantation Surgery, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, North 15, West 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060–8638, Japan
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012, 10:107 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-107Published: 14 June 2012
Liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has the highest local controllability among all local treatments and results in a good survival rate. However, the recurrence rates of HCC continue to remain high even after curative hepatectomy Moreover, it has been reported that some patients with HCC have an early death due to recurrence. We analyzed the preoperative risk factors for early cancer death.
Between 1997 and 2009, 521 consecutive patients who underwent hepatectomy for HCC at our center were assigned to group ED (death due to HCC recurrence or progression within 1 year after hepatectomy) and group NED (alive over 1 year after hepatectomy). Risk factors for early cancer death were analyzed.
Group ED included 48 patients, and group NED included 473 patients. The cause of death included cancer progression (150; 78.1%), operation-related (1; 0.5%), hepatic failure (15; 7.8%), and other (26; 13.5%). Between the ED and NED groups, there were significant differences in albumin levels, Child-Pugh classifications, anatomical resections, curability, tumor numbers, tumor sizes, macroscopic vascular invasion (portal vein and hepatic vein), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels, AFP-L3 levels, protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonism factor II (PIVKA-II) levels, differentiation, microscopic portal vein invasion, microscopic hepatic vein invasion, and distant metastasis by univariate analysis. Multivariate analysis identified specific risk factors, such as AFP level > 1,000 ng/ml, tumor number ≥ 4, tumor size ≥ 5 cm, poor differentiation, and portal vein invasion. With respect to the preoperative risk factors such as AFP level, tumor number, and tumor size, 3 (1.1%) of 280 patients with no risk factors, 12 (7.8%) of 153 patients with 1 risk factor, 24 (32.9%) of 73 patients with 2 factors, and 9 (60.0%) of 15 patients with 3 risk factors died within 1 year of hepatectomy (p < 0.0001).
Hepatectomy should be judiciously selected for patients with AFP level > 1,000 ng/ml, tumor number ≥ 4, and tumor size ≥ 5 cm, because patients with these preoperative risk factors tend to die within 1 year after hepatectomy; these patients might be better treated with other therapy.