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Logo of postmedjPostgraduate Medical JournalCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Postgrad Med J. Jan 2000; 76(891): 4–11.
PMCID: PMC1741466
Hepatocellular carcinoma
S. Badvie
The Guy's, King's College & St Thomas' Medical School, London, UK.
Primary hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the 10 most common tumours, and the most common primary liver malignancy, in the world. In the majority of cases, it occurs against a background of hepatitis B or C viral infection and/or liver cirrhosis, and is associated with a dismal prognosis of a few months. Current treatments in routine clinical practice are surgical resection and liver transplantation, but these therapies are applicable to only a small proportion of patients and prolongation of survival is restricted. Other treatment options include intra-arterial chemotherapy, transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation, percutaneous ethanol injection, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, proton therapy, or a wide range of their possible combinations. The current lack of definitive data, however, limits the use of these therapies. Another option is gene therapy, which although in its infancy at the present time, may have a significant role to play in the future management of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma; hepatic resection; liver transplantation; transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation
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