Transplantation is an effective therapy for the treatment of patients with end-stage intestine failure who cannot tolerate parenteral nutrition. With newer immune suppressive protocols, 1-year graft and patient survival rates approach the results of liver transplantation. Further improvement in survival are expected with early referral since suitable donor organs are scarce and survival rates are better when patients are well enough to wait at home for their transplant.
Several factors are associated with increased hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence after liver transplantation (LT), but no reliable risk score has been established to determine the individual risk for HCC recurrence.
We aimed to develop and validate a Risk Estimation of Tumor Recurrence After Transplant (RETREAT) score for patients with HCC meeting Milan criteria by imaging.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Predictors of recurrence were tested in a development cohort of 721 patients who underwent LT between 2002 and 2012 at 3 academic transplant centers (University of California–San Francisco; Mayo Clinic, Rochester; and Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville) to create the RETREAT score. This was subsequently validated in a cohort of 341 patients also meeting Milan criteria by imaging who underwent LT at the University of Toronto transplant center using the C concordance statistic and net reclassification index.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Characteristics associated with post-LT HCC recurrence.
A total of 1061 patients participated in the study; 77.8%(825) were men, and the median (IQR) age was 58.2 (53.3–63.9) years in the development cohort and 56.4 (51.7–61.0) years in the validation cohort (P < .001). In the development cohort of 721 patients (542 men), median α-fetoprotein (AFP) level at the time of LT was 8.3 ng/mL; 9.4% had microvascular invasion (n = 68), and 22.1% were beyond Milan criteria on explant (n = 159) owing to understaging by pretransplantation imaging. Cumulative probabilities of HCC recurrence at 1 and 5 years were 5.7% and 12.8%, respectively. On multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, 3 variables were independently associated with HCC recurrence: microvascular invasion, AFP at time of LT, and the sum of the largest viable tumor diameter and number of viable tumors on explant. The RETREAT score was created using these 3 variables, with scores ranging from 0 to 5 or higher that were highly predictive of HCC recurrence (C statistic, 0.77). RETREAT was able to stratify 5-year post-LT recurrence risk ranging from less than 3%with a score of 0 to greater than 75% with a score of 5 or higher. The validation cohort (n = 340; 283 men) had significantly higher microvascular invasion (23.8% [n = 81], P < .001), explant beyond Milan criteria (37.3% [n = 159], P < .001), and HCC recurrence at 5 years (17.9% [n = 159], P = .03). RETREAT showed good model discrimination (C statistic, 0.82; 95%CI, 0.77–0.86) and superior recurrence risk classification compared with explant Milan criteria (net reclassification index, 0.40; P = .001) in the validation cohort.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
We have developed and validated a simple and novel prognostic score that may improve post-LT HCC surveillance strategies and help identify patients who may benefit from future adjuvant therapies.
Cross-sectional imaging did not reliably stage patients with HCC for LTx. A protocol using a biopsy to exclude poorly differentiated tumors and aggressive bridging therapy achieved excellent survival rates with LTx for otherwise incurable advanced HCC, irrespective of tumor size and number.
Tumor differentiation and cancer-related symptoms of HCC can be used to select patients with advanced HCC who are appropriate candidates for liver transplantation; alpha-fetoprotein level limitations should be incorporated in the listing criteria for patients within or beyond the Milan criteria. (Hepatology 2016;64:2077-2088).
Chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP), an often unanticipated result of necessary and even life-saving procedures, develops in 5–10% of patients one-year after major surgery. Substantial advances have been made in identifying patients at elevated risk of developing CPSP based on perioperative pain, opioid use, and negative affect, including depression, anxiety, pain catastrophizing, and posttraumatic stress disorder-like symptoms. The Transitional Pain Service (TPS) at Toronto General Hospital (TGH) is the first to comprehensively address the problem of CPSP at three stages: 1) preoperatively, 2) postoperatively in hospital, and 3) postoperatively in an outpatient setting for up to 6 months after surgery. Patients at high risk for CPSP are identified early and offered coordinated and comprehensive care by the multidisciplinary team consisting of pain physicians, advanced practice nurses, psychologists, and physiotherapists. Access to expert intervention through the Transitional Pain Service bypasses typically long wait times for surgical patients to be referred and seen in chronic pain clinics. This affords the opportunity to impact patients’ pain trajectories, preventing the transition from acute to chronic pain, and reducing suffering, disability, and health care costs. In this report, we describe the workings of the Transitional Pain Service at Toronto General Hospital, including the clinical algorithm used to identify patients, and clinical services offered to patients as they transition through the stages of surgical recovery. We describe the role of the psychological treatment, which draws on innovations in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy that allow for brief and effective behavioral interventions to be applied transdiagnostically and preventatively. Finally, we describe our vision for future growth.
Patients with cirrhosis and very early iCCA may become candidates for liver transplantation; a prospective multicenter clinical trial is needed to further confirm these results. (Hepatology 2016;64:1178-1188).
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