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Adult Primary Liver Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version

Treatment Option Overview

There is no worldwide agreement on a common treatment strategy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Several treatments for HCC are available that are associated with long-term survival, including liver transplantation, surgical resection, and ablation techniques.

Selection of treatment is complex because several factors related to the underlying liver function, the extent and location of the tumor, and the general condition of the patient must be considered. Often, patients with HCC are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team including hepatologists, radiologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, transplant surgeons, surgical oncologists, pathologists, and medical oncologists.

From a treatment perspective, HCC can be divided into the following two broad categories:

  • Tumors for which potentially curative treatments are available (Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer [BCLC] stages 0, A, and B).
  • Tumors for which curative options are not available (BCLC stages C and D).
  • Updated: July 11, 2014