Scientific publications

Clinical characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma in Spain. Comparison with the 2008-2009 period and analysis of the causes of diagnosis out of screening programs.

Mar 6, 2017 | Magazine: Medicina Clínica

Rodríguez de Lope C (1), Reig M (2), Matilla A (3), Ferrer MT (4), Dueñas E (5), Mínguez B (6), F Castroagudín J (7), Ortiz I (8), Pascual S (9), Lledó JL (10), Gallego A (11), Arenas JI (12), Aracil C (13), Forne M (14), Muñoz C (15), Pons F (16), Sala M (17), Iñarrairaegui M (18), Martin-Llahi M (19), Andreu V (20), Garre C (21), Rendón P (22), Fuentes J (23), Crespo J (1), Rodríguez M (24), Bruix J (2), Varela M (25); en representación del Grupo de Estudio de Cáncer Hepático (GECH).

In 2010 we published that 53% of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) detected in Spain were diagnosed outside the context of standard screening programs, which consequently leads to lower survival rates. The aim of this study was to analyze the current situation and the causes of diagnosis out of screening programs.

Prospective registry of 73 second- and third-level Spanish healthcare centers carried out between October 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015. The baseline characteristics of the disease and the first treatment administered for the incidental primary liver tumors during such period were recorded.

A total of 720 patients were included in the study: HCC (n=686), intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (n=29), hepatic cholangiocarcinoma (n=2), other (n=3). HCC characteristics: male 82%; mean age 67 years; cirrhosis 87%; main etiologies: alcohol 35%, HCV 30%, alcohol and HCV 15%, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease 6%; tumor stage: BCLC-0 11%, A 43%, B 19%, C 16% and D 11%; first treatment: transarterial chemoembolization (23%), percutaneous ablation (22%), symptomatic treatment (20%), resection (11%), sorafenib (11%).

Three hundred and fifty-six patients (53%) were diagnosed outside of screening programs, mainly owing to the fact that they suffered from an undiagnosed liver disease (76%) and to the poor adherence to the screening program (18%). These patients were mainly male (P<.001), with an alcoholic etiology (P<.001) and active alcohol consumption (P<.001). Moreover, the disease was predominantly diagnosed at more advanced stages (P<.001) and was addressed with less radical treatments (P<.001).

In Spain, the main cause of diagnosis of a HCC outside the context of a screening program is the absence of a prior diagnosis of a liver disease, particularly in alcohol-consuming men. Detecting a liver disease in asymptomatic populations and improving adherence to screening programs are the main areas that must be subject to improvement in order to improve the early detection of HCC.

CITATION  Med Clin (Barc). 2017 Mar 6. pii: S0025-7753(17)30096-9. doi: 10.1016/j.medcli.2016.12.048