The role of pathological findings after locoregional treatments as predictors of hepatocellular cancer recurrence after liver transplantation has been poorly addressed. The aim of the study was to identify the role of remnant vital tissue (RVT) of the target lesion in predicting hepatocellular cancer recurrence. Two hundred and seventy-six patients firstly undergoing locoregional treatment and then transplanted between January 2010 and December 2015 in four European Transplant Centres (i.e. Rome Tor Vergata, Birmingham, Brussels and Ancona) were enrolled in the study to investigate the role of pathological response at upfront locoregional treatment. At multivariable Cox regression analysis, RVT ≥2 cm was a strong independent risk factor for post-LT recurrence (HR = 5.6; P < 0.0001). Five-year disease-free survival rates were 60.8%, 80.9% and 95.0% in patients presenting a RVT ≥2 cm vs. 0.1-1.9 vs. no RVT, respectively. When only Milan Criteria-IN patients were analysed, similar results were reported, with 5-year disease-free survival rates of 58.1%, 79.0% and 94.0% in patients presenting a RVT ≥2 cm vs. 0.1-1.9 vs. no RVT, respectively. RVT is an important determinant of tumour recurrence after liver transplantation performed for hepatocellular cancer. Its discriminative power looks to be evident also in a Milan-IN setting, suggesting to more liberally use locoregional treatments also in these patients.