BACKGROUND. The authors analyzed changes in the characteristics and survival rate of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the past 25 years. METHODS. Trends in clinical characteristics and survival rate of patients with HCC were evaluated retrospectively based on data from 1365 patients who were diagnosed, treated, and followed between 1976 and 2000. RESULTS. Between 1976-1995, the number of patients with smaller tumors, a less advanced tumor stage, and with a lower Child-Pugh class increased markedly. No differences were observed in the distributions of these three factors between the periods 1991-1995 and 1996-2000. The year of HCC diagnosis, tumor size, tumor stage, Child-Pugh class, and the kind of initial treatment received correlated significantly with patient survival rates by multivariate analysis. The year of HCC diagnosis was found to contribute independently to the improvement in patient survival rates. Using the Kaplan-Meier comparison, the time periods during which the highest patient survival rates occurred were found to be 1991-1995/1996-2000, 1986-1990, and 1976-1985, in that order. The authors did not observe a difference with regard to survival rates between patients in the 1991-1995 and 1996-2000 groups. CONCLUSIONS. The characteristics of patients with HCC changed dramatically from 1976 to 1995 (but not in the past 10 years) toward the earlier detection of HCC. This contributed to the improvement noted in patient survival rates during this period. The year of HCC diagnosis was found to be an independent factor for the improved survival rates by multivariate analysis. This indicated that the progress of treatment and care for patients with HCC contributed to the annual improvement in patient survival rates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research