Advances in the surgical management of liver malignancies

Timothy M. Pawlik, Charles R. Scoggins, Melanie B. Thomas, Jean Nicolas Vauthey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Primary malignancies of the liver include tumors arising from the hepatocytes (hepatocellular carcinoma and the fibrolamellar variant) and the intrahepatic bile ducts (intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma). Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary cancer of the liver and is a leading cause of death from cancer worldwide. Although it is uncommon in the United States, the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma is rising. Hepatitis, ethanol use, and cirrhosis often dominate the clinical picture and may dictate prognosis. New clinical and pathological staging systems have allowed for the more accurate stratification of patients to more appropriately identify patients for resection, transplantation, and percutaneous ablation therapies. A correlation between liver volume and surgical outcome has recently been demonstrated, with small liver remnant size being associated with increased morbidity. Portal vein embolization has therefore been proposed as one way to induce hypertrophy of the anticipated liver remnant before resection. Initial reports have shown that portal vein embolization decreases the incidence of postoperative complications. More recently, systemic chemotherapy and chemoembolization have been investigated as both primary and neoadjuvant therapy. Chemoimmunotherapy with 5-fluorouracil and interferon maybe associated with a superior response rate in the fibrolamellar variant of hepatocellular carcinoma. Two recent randomized studies have also indicated improved survival after hepatic artery embolization in selected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-87
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Fibrolamellar carcinoma
  • Fibrosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma
  • Resection
  • Review
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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