Adjuvant therapy after radical surgery for hepatocellular carcinoma: still an unmet need

Yasunori Minami, Masatoshi Kudo


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortality. Because HCC typically occurs in patients with advanced liver disease, therapeutic decisions depend on the degree of underlying liver dysfunction and tumor burden. Curative treatment options, which result in 5-year survival rates of 60–80% (surgical resection) and 40–70% (local ablative therapies), are restricted to patients with early-stage HCC (1,2). However, surgical resection and local ablative therapies are limited by high tumor recurrence rates of 50% at 3 years and 70% at 5 years (1-6). Thus, monitoring treatment response is imperative for the clinical management of HCC patients (7), highlighting the need for adjuvant therapies.