Milan Criteria (MC) consent excellent survivals for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver transplantation (LT). However, several new expanded criteria were proposed, with the intent to increase the HCC patients eligible for LT, maintaining acceptable recurrence rates. The aim of the present study was to analyze a cohort of HCC patients, evaluating the evolutions in its management during the last 20 years and comparing the disease-free survivals among three different periods.
HCC patients (n = 122) were transplanted and stratified in three periods: 1st (1988-1998, liberal selection), 2nd (1999-2003, use of MC) and 3rd (2004-2008, use of UCSF criteria). The three periods were analyzed and their survivals were compared.
Statistical differences were reported at univariate analysis regarding to both dimensional (total tumor diameter) and biological (alpha feto-protein, microvascular invasion) HCC features. Comparing the 5-year survival rates, a progressive increase was observed in the three periods (62.6%, 87.9% and 88.4%, respectively), with a significant difference between 1st and the second periods (p = 0.008).
In our experience, use of UCSF criteria is safe, with a contemporaneous increased number of transplants and better survivals. Introduction of new selection criteria, also based on biological features, is on the way.