TUESDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- A continuous hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) priority score incorporating a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD), alpha-fetoprotein and tumor size can be used to predict dropout, post-transplantation survival, and recurrence rates after liver transplantation, according to a study published online June 10 in the American Journal of Transplantation.
Alessandro Cucchetti, M.D., from the University of Bologna in Italy, and colleagues examined data from 300 adult HCC recipients to analyze whether a proposed HCC-MELD equation could predict dropout probability and post-transplantation survival.
The investigators found that the five-year post-transplant survival rate was 72.8 percent, and HCC recurrence rate after transplantation was 13.5 percent. The HCC-MELD was a significant predictor of both postoperative survival and recurrence. After plotting the five-year predicted survival and recurrence rates against the HCC-MELD-based dropout probability, the higher the dropout probability while on the waiting list, the higher the predicted recurrence rate, and lower the predicted survival after transplantation.
"The HCC priority score could predict postoperative survival of HCC recipients and could be useful to improve transplant results by identifying patients with a good or a poor outcome. Factors affecting dropout risk and post-transplantation survival are essentially the same, and further investigations should be aimed at assessing the survival benefit of HCC patients considering these features," the authors write.