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The treatment of intermediate stage tumours beyond TACE: From surgery to systemic therapy

Published:March 18, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2017.03.007

      Summary

      Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is dependent on the stage of the disease. Intermediate stage HCC encompasses the largest subgroup of patients with the disease, and is characterized by substantial heterogeneity. The standard therapeutic approach, transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), is probably over-used and may not be appropriate for all patients with intermediate stage HCC. In patients with extensive tumour bulk, multi-nodular spread or impaired liver function, TACE may not be optimal and other treatments can be considered as a first-line treatment. These include surgery, percutaneous ablation, radioembolization or systemic treatment. In addition, patients who do not achieve complete or partial necrosis (TACE failure) and patients with early recurrence after TACE, should be managed individually, considering systemic treatments usually reserved for advanced disease. In selected cases and in patients who achieve downstaging, radical approaches such as hepatic resection or even liver transplantation can be considered. In this review, we evaluate the current literature for the treatment strategies for patients with intermediate Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) B stage HCC.

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