Recent advances in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

Kunjali T. Padhya, Jorge A. Marrero, Amit G. Singal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide an up-to-date summary of the recent advances in therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). RECENT FINDINGS: Surgical resection, liver transplantation, and local ablative therapies such as radiofrequency ablation offer potential cure for tumors detected at an early stage in well selected patients. The role of adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy is being investigated, but there is no clear evidence supporting its routine use currently. Some have proposed expanding size criteria for transplantation or downstaging tumors detected beyond an early stage, although benefits must be weighed against harms to others on the waiting list. For intermediate-stage HCC, transarterial chemoembolization is the mainstay of treatment, although there is increasing evidence supporting a role for transarterial radioembolization. For advanced HCC, sorafenib is the only systemic therapy to significantly prolong survival in patients with Child A cirrhosis and good performance status. Ongoing trials are evaluating the role of other targeted therapies in patients with advanced HCC. SUMMARY: There have been advances in HCC treatment options over the last couple of years and there are now potential therapies for most patients with any stage of disease. Treatment decisions must be individualized after accounting for factors such as degree of liver dysfunction and patient performance status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2013


  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • liver cancer
  • therapy
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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