Published online Nov 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i44.16630
Revised: June 17, 2014
Accepted: July 22, 2014
Published online: November 28, 2014
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer and the third most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. There have been great improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of HCC in recent years, but the problems, including difficult diagnosis at early stage, quick progression, and poor prognosis remain unsolved. Surgical resection is the mainstay of the treatment for HCC. However, 70%-80% of HCC patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage when most are ineligible for potentially curative therapies such as surgical resection and liver transplantation. In recent years, non-surgical management for unrespectable HCC, such as percutaneous ethanol injection, percutaneous microwave coagulation therapy, percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, biotherapy, and hormonal therapy have been developed. These therapeutic options, either alone or in combination, have been shown to control tumor growth, prolong survival time, and improve quality of life to some extent. This review covers the current status and progress of non-surgical management for HCC.
Core tip: In recent years, there has been considerable progress in the development of non-surgical management for unrespectable hepatocellular carcinoma. These therapeutic options, either alone or in combination, have been shown to control tumor growth, prolong patient survival, and improve quality of life to some extent. Some of these strategies have been extensively used in clinical practice as the preferred approaches for advanced primary liver cancer.