Dr Chien-Hung Chen and colleagues from Taiwan assessed the survival rates of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma over the past 20 years.
The investigative team included a total of 11,312 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma from 7 medical centers from 1986 to 2002.
Survival was analyzed by correlating data with the national mortality databank.
Multivariate analysis showed that several factors were associated with shorter survival.
The team found that male sex, younger age, Hepatitis B virus, and earlier year of diagnosis were factors associated with shorter survival.
| Earlier year of diagnosis is a factor associated with shorter survival|
|Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Alpha fetoprotein higher than 400 ng/mL, and alanine aminotransferase higher than twice the upper normal limit was associated with shorter survival.
The team noted that higher aspartate aminotransferase to alanine aminotransferase ratio was also associated with shorter survival.
In addition, central or southern Taiwan residence, and rural areas residence were factors that shortened survival.
Patients diagnosed during 1998 to 2002 showed the highest survival rates.
This was followed by patients diagnosed during 1994 to 1997, 1990 to 1993, and 1986 to 1989, respectively.
Dr Chen's team concludes, “There are geographic variations in the survival rates of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.”
“Survival has been improving gradually over the past 20 years, probably due to earlier detection of hepatocellular carcinoma or to improved patient care.”