J Liver Cancer.  2020 Sep;20(2):135-147. 10.17998/jlc.20.2.135.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Korea between 2012 and 2014: an Analysis of Data from the Korean Nationwide Cancer Registry

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Center for Liver Cancer, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 6Department of Radiology, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 7Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 8Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 9Cancer Registration and Statistic Branch, National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 10Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background/Aims
Considering the high prevalence and mortality of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Korea, accurate statistics for HCC are important. We evaluated the characteristics of Korean patients with newly diagnosed HCC.
Methods
We retrospectively evaluated data from the Korean Primary Liver Cancer Registry (KPLCR). The baseline characteristics, treatment modalities, and overall survival (OS) of 4,572 patients with HCC registered in the KPLCR between 2012 and 2014 were investigated.
Results
At the time of HCC diagnosis, the median age was 60.0 years, with male predominance (79.6%). Hepatitis B virus infection was the most common etiology (59.1%). The rates of Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stages 0, A, B, C, and D at diagnosis were 3.9%, 36.9%, 12.5%, 39.4%, and 7.3%, respectively. The proportion of very early or early stage HCC at diagnosis (BCLC stage 0 or A) in the 2012-2014 cohort was significantly lower than that in the 2008-2011 cohort (40.8% vs. 48.3%, P<0.001). Transarterial therapy (37.5%) was the most commonly performed initial treatment, followed by surgical resection (19.8%), best supportive care (19.1%), and local ablation (10.6%). The median OS was 2.9 years, and the 1-, 3-, and 5-year OS rates were 67.7%, 49.3% and 41.9%, respectively. The OS rate of the 2012-2014 cohort was significantly higher than that of the 2008-2011 cohort (log-rank, P<0.001).
Conclusions
The OS of HCC patients registered in the KPLCR between 2012 and 2014 significantly improved. Nevertheless, as about half of the HCC patients were diagnosed at an advanced stage, vigorous and optimized HCC screening strategies should be implemented.

Keyword

Epidemiology; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hepatitis B; Korea; Survival
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