AIMS: This multicentre cohort study evaluated the role of ageing on clinical characteristics, treatment allocation and outcome of new hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), in clinical practice.
MATERIAL & METHODS: From September 2008, 541 patients >70 years old (elderly group), and 527 ≤70 years old (non-elderly group) with newly diagnosed HCC were consecutively enrolled in 30 Italian centres. Differences in clinical characteristics and treatment allocation between groups were described by a multivariable logistic regression model measuring the inverse probability weight to meet the elderly group. Survival differences were measured by unadjusted and adjusted (by inverse probability weight) survival analysis.
RESULTS: Elderly patients were mainly females, hepatitis C virus infected and with better conserved liver function (P<.001). At presentation, HCC median size was similar in both groups while, in youngers, HCC was more frequently multinodular (P=.001), and associated with neoplastic thrombosis (P=.009). Adjusted survival analysis showed that age did not predict short-mid-term survival (within 24 months), while it was a significant independent predictor of long-term survival. Moreover, age had a significant long-term survival impact mainly on early HCC stages (Barcelona Clinic for Liver Cancer [BCLC] 0-A), its impact on BCLC B stage was lower, while it was negligible for advanced-terminal stages.
CONCLUSIONS: Age per se does not impact on short-mid-term prognosis (≤24 months) of HCC patients, and should not represent a limitation to its management.
- Journal Article