1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kinki University School of Medicine, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka, Japan.
This review outlines the significance of establishing general rules, a nationwide follow-up survey, and clinical practice guidelines for liver cancer in Japan. The general rules are an essential part of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment, enabling a 'common language' to be used in daily clinical practice and for the nationwide follow-up survey. The Japanese General Rules for the Clinical and Pathological Study of Primary Liver Cancer, which provide detailed descriptions of HCC, are excellent and are unique to Japan. Items in the General Rules for the Clinical and Pathological Study of Primary Liver Cancer are used substantially in another important project, the Nationwide Follow-Up Survey of Primary Liver Cancer, which has been rigorously undertaken with great effort by the Liver Cancer Study Group of Japan biannually since 1969. Both evidence-based and consensus-based treatment algorithms for HCC are used to complement each other in clinical practice in Japan.