Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Department of Surgery, Northshore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL.
Department of Surgery, Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, IL.
Department of Surgery, Northshore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Studies comparing orthotopic liver transplantation to margin negative resection for patients with small unifocal hepatocellular carcinoma have not controlled for degree of cirrhosis.
The National Cancer Database was used to identify patients with preserved liver function (Model for End-stage Liver Disease score ≤12) who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation or margin negative resection for American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I hepatocellular carcinoma lesions <3 cm between 2010 and 2013. Multivariable and Cox regression adjusting for age, demographics, comorbid disease burden, Model for End-stage Liver Disease score, tumor size, and operation were used to compare overall survival between cohorts.
In the study, 241 (53%) patients underwent orthotopic liver transplantation. In addition, 219 (47%) underwent margin negative resection. On multivariable regression, patients having a Charlson comorbidity score ≥2 were more likely to undergo orthotopic liver transplantation, (odds ratio 1.94, P=.03). African American patients (odds ratio 0.44, P=.02), and patients of advanced age (odds ratio 0.92, P<.001) were more likely to undergo margin negative resection. Patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation had longer overall survival than those undergoing margin negative resection (median OS not reached versus 67.6 months, P<.001). Multivariable Cox regression identified surgical procedure as the only independent determinant of survival with margin negative resection conferring a nearly 3-fold increased risk of death (hazard ratio 2.86, P<.001).
Orthotopic liver transplantation offers a survival advantage relative to margin negative resection for patients with small unifocal hepatocellular carcinoma and preserved liver function.