Background: In countries where cadaveric organ donation is limited, living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has been reserved as a rescue option for the patients with uncontrollable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients and Methods: Between March 2002 and June 2006, 56 patients with HCC had been registered as a LDLT candidate after HCC cannot be treated conventionally. We compared the survival rates between the patients who underwent LDLT (living donor liver transplantation group: LT, n=29) and those who did not undergo LDLT (no transplantation group: NLT, n=27). In the NLT group, we examined the periods suitable for resection or ablation (from first diagnosis to registration), suitable for LDLT, and unsuitable for LDLT. Results: Even among the patients who did not meet Milan criteria (LT: n=10, NLT: n=16), 1-and 3-year survival rates were significantly higher in the LT group than in the NLT group: 90.0% and 60.0% vs. 75.0% and 8.3%, respectively (P=0.046). In the NLT group, the median periods suitable for resection or ablation, suitable for LDLT, and unsuitable for LDLT were 28.9, 12.2, and 3.5 months, respectively. Conclusions: LDLT is acceptable for the patients who gave up the conventional treatment. Approximately 12 months remain for the LDLT candidates with HCC to decide to undergo it.
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