transplantation may offer hope of a longer life for patients
with liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC), according to an analysis
performed by Dr. Paul J. Thuluvath and associates at Johns
Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, U.S.A., based on
data derived from the United Network Organ Sharing database,
covering patients who went through the procedure from 1987 to
transplantation may even be the best treatment available to
patients suffering from HCC and advanced cirrhosis, the
investigators conclude, as it offers complete tumor resection
and cure of the underlying liver ailment.
note that that only 20 percent of HCC and cirrhosis patients
are suitable for resection.
Further, the five-year survival rate following
resection or ethanol injection is roughly 30 percent.
their report to be published in the December 1 issue of the
Journal of Clinical Oncology, Thuluvath and his associates
found that more than half of the HCC patients covered in the
analysis who had undergone liver transplantations had gone on
to live five years or more following the procedure.
their analysis that involved 985 HCC liver transplant patients
and a control group numbering over 33,000, consisting of
patients who had transplants for liver conditions considered
non-malignant, the investigators found that while the
five-year survival rate of 42.3 percent for the HCC group was
lower than the 71.7 percent for the control group, the
five-year survival rate for cancer patients went up
considerably from 25.3 percent during the 1987-1991 period, to
61.1 percent from 1997 to 2001, which was attributed mainly to
careful patient selection based on prescribed criteria.
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