Salvage liver transplantation in selected patients had similar survival rates compared with primary liver resection, according to recent retrospective data.
The results, say researchers, indicate that salvage liver transplantation (SLT) is suitable for patients with recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after primary liver resection.
Using data from the China Liver Transplant Registry, researchers analyzed 6,975 transplants performed from January 1999 to December 2009. Among those transplants, 6,087 patients underwent primary liver transplantation (PLT) after the tumor was initially diagnosed, and 888 underwent SLT for HCC recurrence. Patients received either living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) (n=389), or deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT) (n=6,586).
The overall survival rates were:
5-year: 48.81% (P=.260)
The disease-free survival rates were:
Similar survival rates were recorded for SLT and PLT within both the LDLT and DDLT recipients.
“SLT might be accepted as the treatment of choice for patients with recurrent HCC,” the study authors wrote. “The use of living or deceased donors does not affect survival in SLT, and living donor SLT may be a good alternative option because of the shortage of deceased donor organs.”