Surgery for intermediate and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: A consensus report from the 5th Asia-pacific primary liver cancer expert meeting (apple 2014)

Ming Chih Ho*, Kiyoshi Hasegawa, Xiao Ping Chen, Hiroaki Nagano, Young Joo Lee, Gar Yang Chau, Jian Zhou, Chih Chi Wang, Young Rok Choi, Ronnie Tung Ping Poon, Norihiro Kokudo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

78 Scopus citations


Background: The Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging and treatment strategy does not recommended surgery for treating BCLC stage B and C hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, numerous Asia-Pacific institutes still perform surgery for this patient group. This consensus report from the 5th Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert Meeting aimed to share opinions and experiences pertaining to liver resection for intermediate and advanced HCCs and to provide evidence to issue recommendations for surgery in this patient group. Summary: Thirteen experts from five Asia-Pacific regions were invited to the meeting; 10 of them (Japan: 2, Taiwan: 3, South Korea: 2, Hong Kong: 1, and China: 2) voted for the final consensus. The discussion focused on evaluating the preoperative liver functional reserve and surgery for large tumors, multiple tumors, HCCs with vascular invasion, and HCCs with distant metastasis. The feasibility of future prospective randomized trials comparing surgery with transarterial chemoembolization for intermediate HCC and with sorafenib for advanced HCC was also discussed. The Child-Pugh score (9/10 experts) and indocyanine green retention rate at 15 min (8/10) were the most widely accepted methods for evaluating the preoperative liver functional reserve. All (10/10) experts agreed that portal hypertension, tumor size >5 cm, portal venous invasion, hepatic venous invasion, and extrahepatic metastasis are not absolute contraindications for the surgical resection of HCC. Furthermore, 9 of the 10 experts agreed that tumor resection may be performed for patients with >3 tumors. The limitations of surgery are associated with a poor liver functional reserve, incomplete tumor resection, and a high probability of recurrence. Key Messages: Surgery provides significant survival benefits for Asian-Pacific patients with intermediate and advanced HCCs, particularly when the liver functional reserve is favorable. However, prospective randomized controlled trials are difficult to conduct because of technical and ethical considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalLiver Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - 01 09 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel. Copyright: All rights reserved.


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • outcome
  • staging system
  • surgery


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