Multimodal oncological approach in patients affected by recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation

G. P. Guerrini, M. Berretta, G. Tarantino, P. Magistri, A. Pecchi, R. Ballarin, F. Di Benedetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) represents the fifth most common malignancy and the third cancer-related cause of death worldwide. Liver transplantation (LT) is an excellent treatment for patients with small HCC associated with cirrhosis. The purpose of this review is to investigate the possible strategies for the treatment of HCC recurrence after LT based on current clinical evidence. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed independently by two of the authors using PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus and the Cochrane Library Central. The search was limited to studies in humans and to those reported in the English language. RESULTS: Thanks to the introduction of strict selection criteria, LT for HCC has achieved a survival rate of 85% at five years. However, the recurrence of HCC after transplantation remains a serious problem that affects about 20% of post-transplant cases. While most recurrences occur within the first 2 years, late recurrences have been described. The prognosis of recurrence is poor despite numerous proposals of the therapeutic option. Lower levels of immunosuppressive therapy and use of mammalian targets of rapamycin (mTORs) is a potential preventive strategy to reduce HCC recurrence post-Lt. Surgical resection and locoregional therapies (mainly TACE and RFA) play a very important role and are associated with improved survival. Conversely, multikinase inhibitors such as Sorafenib and their association with mTOR inhibitors play a role in cases of advanced HCC recurrence not suitable for the surgical or ablative approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3421-3435
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Chemotherapy
  • HCC
  • Immunosuppressive therapy
  • Liver transplantation
  • MTOR
  • Multimodal treatment
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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