Advances and future directions in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

Ashil J. Gosalia, Paul Martin, Patricia D. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Liver transplant is considered the gold standard for curative therapy for HCC when patients are not candidates for surgical resection or ablation. Because a subset of patients with HCC have a survival rate with liver transplantation that is comparable to that of cirrhotic patients without tumors, the organ allocation system allows for increased priority for transplant in potential recipients within the Milan criteria. With the recent change in the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease exception point allocation, patients with HCC will now need to wait at least 6 months before being awarded extra points. This extension leads to increased time on the transplant waiting list and underscores the importance of locoregional therapy to contain the tumor burden. Fortunately, there has been significant progress in therapy for HCC in the past few decades, namely due to advances in interventional radiology, radiotherapy, and expanded surgical and transplant criteria. Recent advances in immunotherapy also provide promising options for patients who are not candidates for other therapies. This article highlights the major therapeutic options for HCC, including surgical resection, liver transplant, thermal and nonthermal ablation, chemoembolization, radiotherapy, and systemic chemotherapy, as well as discusses the evidence supporting these approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-410
Number of pages13
JournalGastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interventional oncology
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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