BioScience Trends. 2017;11(4):389-398. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2017.01202)

The clinical management of hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide: A concise review and comparison of current guidelines from 2001 to 2017.

Song PP, Cai YL, Tang HW, Li C, Huang JW


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. In this review, we made a review on current guidelines published from January 2001 to June 2017 worldwide with a focus on the clinical management of HCC. The electronic databases MEDLINE, the Chinese SinoMed, and the Japanese CiNii were systematically searched. A total of 18 characteristic guidelines for HCC management were finally included, including 8 guidelines from Asia, 5 from Europe, and 5 from the United States of America (USA). If guidelines were published in multiple versions, the most recent update was included, and surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment were compared. The composition of and recommendations in current guidelines on HCC varied, so these guidelines were regrouped and diagnostic and treatment algorithms were summarized graphically to provide the latest information to clinicians. The diagnostic criteria were grouped into 2 categories of a "Size-based pathway" and a "Non-size-based pathway." The treatment criteria were divided into 4 categories: I) Criteria based on the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer staging system; ii) Criteria based on the modified Union of International Cancer Control staging system; iii) Criteria based on the Child-Pugh class of liver function; and iv) Criteria based on tumor resectability. Findings from comparison of current guidelines might help target and concentrate efforts to improve the clinical management of HCC. However, further studies are needed to improve the management and outcomes of HCC. More straightforward or refined guidelines would help guide doctors to make better decisions in the treatment of HCC in the future.

KEYWORDS: Hepatocellular carcinoma, clinical guideline, surveillance, diagnosis, treatment

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