In this study, doctors from Japan analyzed changes in the characteristics and survival rate of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in the past 25 years.
The team retrospectively evaluated data from 1365 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who were diagnosed, treated, and followed between 1976 and 2000.
They recorded trends in clinical characteristics and survival rate.
The doctors found that, between 1976 and 1995, the number of patients with smaller tumors, a less advanced tumor stage, and with a lower Child-Pugh class increased.
There were no differences were observed in the distributions of these factors between the periods 1991 and 1995, and 1996 and 2000.
|Year of diagnosis contributed independently to improved survival rates.|
In addition, year of diagnosis, tumor size, tumor stage, Child-Pugh class, and type of initial treatment correlated significantly with patient survival rates.
The year of hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis was found to contribute to the improvement in patient survival rates.
Dr Hidenori Toyoda and colleagues concluded, "The characteristics of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma changed dramatically from 1976 to 1995…toward the earlier detection of hepatocellular carcinoma".
"This contributed to the improvement noted in patient survival rates during this period".
"The year of hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis was found to be an independent factor for the improved survival rates by multivariate analysis".
"This indicated that the progress of treatment and care for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma contributed to the annual improvement in patient survival rates".