Intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma, for which trans-arterial chemoembolization constitutes the standard of care, is a patient subgroup with significant heterogeneity in clinical outcome.
Sources of variation relate to differences in tumor burden, hepatic reserve, ethnicity and treatment modalities.
Increasing research efforts have been dedicated to minimise the clinical diversity of this patient population and enhance optimal provision of treatment.
|Novel prognostic algorithms in this patient population may offer potential benefits|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Dr Pinato and colleagues from the United Kingdom comprehensively reviewed the diverse prognostic models that have been proposed to refine the prognostic prediction of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing trans-arterial chemoembolization.
A number of prognostic algorithms have shown potential to address the clinical heterogeneity characterizing patients with intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma, and facilitate early identification of patients with poor prognostic features in whom alternative treatments or best supportive care might be more appropriate than trans-arterial chemoembolization.
Dr Pinato's team concludes, "While an improved characterization of intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma is a highly important clinical aim, current evidence suggests that novel prognostic algorithms in this patient population may offer potential benefits but non-negligible challenges in the provision of trans-arterial chemoembolization."
"This review summarizes the currently available evidence to facilitate the development of precision oncology in intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma."