Background: It remains unknown to what extent hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) are detected very early (T1 stage; ie, unifocal,2 cm) in the United States. The aim of this study was to investigate the trends and factors associated with very early detection of HCC and resultant outcomes. Methods: Patients with HCC diagnosed from 2004 through 2014 were identified from the National Cancer Database. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with T1 HCC detection, and Cox proportional hazard analyses identified factors associated with overall survival among patients with T1 HCC. Results: Of 110,182 eligible patients, the proportion with T1 HCC increased from 2.6% in 2004 to 6.8% in 2014 (P,.01). The strongest correlate of T1 HCC detection was receipt of care at an academic institution (odds ratio, 3.51; 95% CI, 2.31-5.34). Older age, lack of insurance, high Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, high alpha-fetoprotein, increased Charlson-Deyo comorbidity score, and nonsurgical treatment were associated with increased mortality, and care at an academic center (hazard ratio [HR], 0.27; 95% CI, 0.15-0.48) was associated with reduced mortality in patients with T1 HCC. Liver transplantation (HR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.20-0.37) and surgical resection (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.48-0.93) were independently associated with improved survival compared with ablation. This is the first study to examine the trend of T1 HCC using the National Cancer Database, which covers approximately 70%of all cancer diagnoses in the United States, using robust statistical analyses. Limitations of the study include a retrospective study design using administrative data and some pertinent data that were not available. Conclusions: Despite increases over time, <10% of HCCs are detected at T1 stage. The strongest correlates of survival among patients with T1 HCC are receiving care at an academic institution and surgical treatment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||JNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network|
|State||Published - Sep 2020|
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