Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Survival Benefit of Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Kanneganti M, Mahmud N, Kaplan DE, Taddei TH, Goldberg DS. Survival Benefit of Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Transplantation. 2020 Jan 1; 104(1):104-112.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: In the United States, nearly 30% of liver transplants (LT) are performed for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Although overall long-term survival is highest with LT, there are limited data on the incremental survival benefit of LT versus other curative options (resection or ablation) due to shunting of patients towards LT. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients aged 50-69 with cirrhosis and HCC in the Veterans Health Administration (population enriched with 3 curative treatments) from 2008 to 2016. The cohort was restricted to patients who received LT, resection, or ablation and a calculated model for end-stage liver disease score < 15 at HCC diagnosis. RESULTS: Among 2129 veterans in the analytic cohort, 658 (26.7%) received LT, 244 (11.5%) underwent resection, and 1317 (61.59%) received ablation. In multivariable models, patients who underwent resection (hazard ratio: 5.42; 95% confidence interval: 4.15-7.08) or ablation (hazard ratio: 5.50; 95% confidence interval: 4.51-6.71) had significantly increased hazards of death. However, in absolute terms, the incremental survival benefit of LT over resection or ablation was small, between 0.02 and 0.03 years at 1 year, 0.32-0.42 years at 3 years, and 1.04-1.24 years at 5 years follow-up. These results were consistent in sensitivity analyses accounting for possible immortal time bias, as well as a cohort restricted to early/intermediate stage HCC. CONCLUSIONS: Although LT is associated with significantly increased survival compared to resection and ablation, the absolute incremental survival benefit is small over a 5-year time horizon. Optimal selection of patients for LT is critical for maximizing utilization of a scarce resource.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.