New tool to predict liver cancer recurrence after transplant

14 January 2015

A new method has been developed to more accurately predict the risk of disease recurrence in liver cancer patients who have had a transplant.

Created by a team at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the new tool could help doctors make treatment and surveillance decisions. 

Presented at the Southern Surgical Association's annual meeting, the study is also published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and used data from 865 liver cancer patients who had transplants between 1984 and 2013.

First author Dr Vatche G. Agopian, an assistant professor of surgery in the division of liver transplantation at UCLA, said the novel nomogram includes three important groups of information, which have proved to be very accurate in predicting recurrence in liver cancer patients "better than any other system out there".

Only recently has there been a criteria to guide doctors on which liver cancer patients would be best for transplant, which resulted in early recurrence of disease. The introduction of the "Milan criteria" in 1996 restricted transplantation to the most appropriate patients but didn't account for blood biomarkers that can help predict recurrence, Dr Agopian said. 

The new nomogram used three groups of factors to predict recurrence and was more accurate than the Milan criteria and other guidelines.

Posted by ​Edward Bartel 


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