Survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in the San Joaquin Valley: a comparison with California Cancer Registry data

Authors Pradeep R. Atla, Muhammad Y. Sheikh, Ranjan Mascarenhas, Jayanta Choudhury, Paul Mills.


Background Variation in the survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is related to racial differences, socioeconomic disparities and treatment options among different populations.

Methods A retrospective review of the data from medical records of patients diagnosed with HCC were analyzed at an urban tertiary referral teaching hospital and compared to patients in the California Cancer Registry (CCR) - a participant in the Survival Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The main outcome measure was overall survival rates.

Results 160 patients with the diagnosis of HCC (M/F=127/33), mean age 59.7±10 years, 32% white, 49% Hispanic, 12% Asian and 6% African American. Multivariate analysis identified tumor size, model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score, portal vein invasion and treatment offered as the independent predictors of survival (p <0.05). Survival rates across racial groups were not statistically significant. 5.6% received curative treatments (orthotopic liver transplantation, resection, rediofrequency ablation) (median survival 69 months), 34.4% received nonsurgical treatments (trans-arterial chemoembolization, systemic chemotherapy) (median survival 9 months), while 60% received palliative or no treatment (median survival 3 months) (p <0.001).

Conclusion There was decreased survival in our patient population with HCC beyond 2 years. 60% of our study population received only palliative or no treatment suggesting a possible lack of awareness of chronic liver disease as well as access to appropriate surveillance modalities. Ethnic disparities such as Hispanic predominance in this study in contrast to the CCR/SEER database may have been a contributing factor for poorer outcome.

Keywords Hepatocellular carcinoma, cirrhosis, ethnic, disparities, survival
Ann Gastroenterol 2012; 25 (2): 138-146

Original Articles