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Journal Cover   Liver Cancer
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 2235-1795 - ISSN (Online) 1664-5553
   Published by Karger Homepage  [104 journals]
  • Hong Kong Consensus Recommendations on the Management of Hepatocellular
    • Abstract: Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is particularly prevalent in Hong Kong because of the high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection; HCC is the fourth commonest cancer in men and the seventh commonest in women, and it is the third leading cause of cancer death in Hong Kong. The full spectrum of treatment modalities for HCC is available locally; however, there is currently no local consensus document detailing how these modalities should be used. Summary: In a series of meetings held between May and October 2013, a multidisciplinary group of Hong Kong clinicians − liver surgeons, medical oncologists, clinical oncologists, hepatologists, and interventional radiologists − convened to formulate local recommendations on HCC management. These recommendations consolidate the most current evidence pertaining to HCC treatment modalities, together with the latest thinking of practicing clinicians engaged in HCC management, and give detailed guidance on how to deploy these modalities effectively for patients in various disease stages. Key messages: Distinct from other regional guidelines, these recommendations provide guidance on the use of antiviral therapy to reduce the incidence of HCC in CHB patients with cirrhosis and to reduce recurrence of CHB-related HCC.
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:51-69
  • Phase I Trial of Sorafenib Following Liver Transplantation in Patients
           with High-Risk Hepatocellular Carcinoma
    • Abstract: Liver transplantation offers excellent long-term survival for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who fall within established criteria. For those outside such criteria, or with high-risk pathologic features in the explant, HCC recurrence rates are higher. We conducted a multicenter phase I trial of sorafenib in liver transplantation patients with high-risk HCC. Subjects had HCC outside the Milan criteria (pre- or post-transplant), poorly differentiated tumors, or vascular invasion. We used a standard 3+3 phase I design with a planned duration of treatment of 24 weeks. Correlative studies included the number of circulating endothelial cells (CECs), plasma biomarkers, and tumor expression of p-Erk, p-Akt, and c-Met in tissue micro-arrays. We enrolled 14 patients with a median age of 63 years. Of these, 93% were men and 71% had underlying hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 21% had HBV. The maximum tolerated dose of sorafenib was 200 mg BID. Grade 3-4 toxicities seen in >10% of subjects included leukopenia (21%), elevated gamma-glutamyl transferase (21%), hypertension (14%), hand-foot syndrome (14%) and diarrhea (14%). Over a median follow-up of 953 days, one patient died and four recurred. The mean CEC number at baseline was 21 cells/4 ml for those who recurred, and 80 cells/4 ml for those who did not (p=0.10). Mean soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 levels decreased after 1 month on sorafenib (p=0.09), but did not correlate with recurrence. There was a trend for tumor c-Met expression to correlate with increased risk of recurrence. Post-transplant sorafenib was found to be feasible and tolerable at 200 mg PO BID. The effect of post-transplant sorafenib on recurrence-free survival is potentially promising but needs further validation in a larger study.
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:115-125
  • Imaging Modalities for Assessment of Treatment Response to Nonsurgical
           Hepatocellular Carcinoma Therapy: Contrast-Enhanced US, CT, and MRI
    • Abstract: Tumor response and time to progression have been considered pivotal for surrogate assessment of treatment efficacy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recent advancements in imaging modalities such as contrast-enhanced ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are playing an important role in assessing the therapeutic effects of HCC treatments. According to some HCC clinical guidelines, post-therapeutic evaluation of HCC patients is based exclusively on contrast-enhanced dynamic imaging criteria. The recommended techniques are contrast-enhanced CT or contrast-enhanced MRI. Contrast-enhanced US is employed more in the positive diagnosis of HCC than in post-therapeutic monitoring. Although contrast enhancement is an important finding on imaging, enhancement does not necessarily depict the same phenomenon across modalities. We need to become well acquainted with the characteristics of each modality, including not only contrast-enhanced CT and MRI but also contrast-enhanced US. Many nonsurgical treatment options are now available for unresectable HCC, and accurate assessment of tumor response is essential to achieve favorable outcomes. For the assessment of successful radiofrequency ablation (RFA), the achievement of a sufficient ablation margin as well the absence of tumor vascular enhancement is essential. To evaluate the response to transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE), enhanced tumor shrinkage is relied on as a measure of antitumor activity. Here, we give an overview of the current status of imaging assessment of HCC response to nonsurgical treatments including RFA and TACE.
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:106-114
  • Apple News
    • Abstract:
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:137
  • Apple News
    • Abstract:
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:84
  • Consensus Development from the 5th Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer
           Expert Meeting (APPLE 2014)
    • Abstract: A key mission of the Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert (APPLE) Association is to ensure a coherent view for management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to advance new treatment for this difficult disease. At the 5th APPLE meeting, held in July 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan, an APPLE consensus development program was established to facilitate discussion among experts in the Asia-Pacific region on pertinent issues for HCC management, including (1) surgery for intermediate/advanced-stage disease, (2) prevention of HCC recurrence after curative treatment, (3) optimizing imaging diagnosis, (4) radiotherapy: current practice and future clinical trials, and (5) the role of cytotoxic chemotherapy. A pre-congress questionnaire was undertaken with the consensus development committee members to help understand the current practice patterns for HCC in the Asia-Pacific region and to identify issues relating to optimal patient care and further clinical trials for which consensus needs to be developed. In this report, the results of the questionnaire are presented, and the pertinent issues identified by each consensus group for further discussion and consensus development are summarized.
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:96-105
  • Tumor Markers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Simple and Significant
           Predictors of Outcome in Patients with HCC
    • Abstract: Background: The effectiveness of tumor markers in evaluating outcomes of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains to be clarified. Summary: The usefulness of the HCC tumor markers, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive fraction of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP-L3), and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) was reviewed. Elevations in these tumor markers at the time of HCC diagnosis correlate with disease progression as assessed by both imaging studies and pathologic examinations. The combination of these three tumor markers results in good predictive ability for patient survival after diagnosis. In addition, combination at the time of HCC diagnosis of these three tumor markers (as a measure of tumor progression) and serum albumin and bilirubin levels (as indicators of remnant liver function) can be used for HCC staging and further predicts prognosis in patients with HCC. Key Message: The prognosis of patients with HCC can be well discriminated based solely on serum markers. Staging of HCC with serum markers is objective; if stored serum samples are available, HCC stages can be standardized across different countries and time periods.
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:126-136
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Differ between
           Japan, United States, and Europe
    • Abstract:
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:85-95
  • Surveillance, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome of Liver Cancer in Japan
    • Abstract: Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common type of cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. HCC is most common in Asia, but its prevalence is rapidly increasing in Western countries; consequently, HCC is a global medical issue that urgently needs to be addressed. Japan is the only developed country that has experienced both hepatitis B-related and hepatitis C-related HCC and has a long history of innovation when it comes to new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, such as computed tomography angiography, anatomical resection, ablation, and transarterial chemoembolization. Among these innovations, a nationwide surveillance program was well established by the 1980s, and such a long-term national program does not exist anywhere else in the world. Summary: More than 60% of the initially detected HCCs in Japan are Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage 0 or A, which can undergo curative therapies such as resection, ablation, or transplantation. The recent 5-year survival rate of HCC patients in Japan was 43% and the median survival time was 50 months. In addition, both incidence and mortality rates are drastically declining as a result of the successful surveillance program, careful diagnostic flow, and extensive repeated treatments. Key Message: Japan's successful model in the surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of HCC should be adopted as widely as possible to improve the survival of HCC patients worldwide.
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:39-50
  • Insufficient Ablative Margin Determined by Early Computed Tomography May
           Predict the Recurrence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Radiofrequency
    • Abstract: Tumor recurrence in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) remains common; some studies have reported that insufficient ablative margin after RFA might contribute to HCC recurrence. The aim of this study was to investigate whether insufficient ablative safety margins determined by early computed tomography (CT) predicts HCC recurrence after RFA. This retrospective study recruited patients with a single HCC lesion after RFA in our department between May 2013 and March 2014. Early follow-up CT was performed within 7 days after RFA. An adequate ablative margin assessed by follow-up CT was defined as (maximum post-RFA CT radius)3/(maximum pre-RFA CT radius + 5 mm)3> 1. All patients in whom complete ablation was achieved underwent a CT scan every 3 months for early detection of HCC recurrence. In total, 72 patients (48 male, mean age 69.4 years) were analyzed. Of these, eight patients had local tumor progression, four had intra-hepatic distant recurrence, and two had extra-hepatic metastasis. Insufficient ablative margin, defined as an ablative volume with a safety margin of less than 5 mm, was an important predictor of local tumor progression (LTP) (p = 0.015) and overall recurrence (p = 0.012). The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of an insufficient ablative margin for predicting LTP and overall recurrence were 36.4%, 97.2%, 50.0%, and 87.9%, and 46.2%, 89.7%, 42.9%, and 87.9%, respectively. An ablative volume with an ablative margin of less than 5 mm is associated with higher rates of both LTP and overall recurrence in HCC after RFA.
      Liver Cancer 2015;4:26-38
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