Multi-Center Analysis of Liver Transplantation for Combined Hepatocellular Carcinoma-Cholangiocarcinoma Liver Tumors.

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Journal of the American College of Surgeons


BACKGROUND: Combined hepatocellular-cholangiocarcinoma liver tumors (cHCC-CCA) with pathologic differentiation of both hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma within the same tumor are not traditionally considered for liver transplantation due to perceived poor outcomes. Published results are from small cohorts and single centers. Through a multi-center collaboration, we performed the largest analysis to date of the utility of liver transplantation for cHCC-CCA.

STUDY DESIGN: Liver transplant and resection outcomes for HCC (n=2998) and cHCC-CCA (n=208) were compared in a 12-center retrospective review (2009-2017). Pathology defined tumor type. Tumor burden was based on radiologic Milan criteria at time of diagnosis and applied to cHCC-CCA for uniform analysis. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and log-rank test were used to determine overall survival and disease-free survival. Cox regression was used for multivariate survival analysis.

RESULTS: Liver transplant for cHCC-CCA (n=67) and HCC (n=1814) within Milan had no significant difference in overall survival (5-yr cHCC-CCA 70.1%, HCC 73.4%, p=0.806) despite higher cHCC-CCA recurrence rates (23.1% vs 11.5% 5-years, p

CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of tumor burden, outcomes following liver transplant are superior to resection for patients with cHCC-CCA. Within Milan criteria, liver transplant for cHCC-CCA and HCC results in similar overall survival justifying consideration of transplantation due to the higher chance of cure with liver transplantation in this traditionally excluded population.

Clinical Institute

Digestive Health

Clinical Institute