Serum alpha-Fetoprotein Levels at Time of Recurrence Predict Post-Recurrence Outcomes Following Resection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Annals of surgical oncology Tsilimigras, D. I., Moris, D., Hyer, J. M., Bagante, F., Ratti, F., Marques, H. P., Soubrane, O., Lam, V., Poultsides, G. A., Popescu, I., Alexandrescu, S., Martel, G., Workneh, A., Guglielmi, A., Hugh, T., Aldrighetti, L., Endo, I., Pawlik, T. M. 2021


INTRODUCTION: Although preoperative alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) has been recognized as an important tumor marker among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the predictive value of AFP levels at the time of recurrence (rAFP) on post-recurrence outcomes has not been well examined.METHODS: Patients undergoing curative-intent resection of HCC between 2000 and 2017 were identified using a multi-institutional database. The impact of rAFP on post-recurrence survival, as well as the impact of rAFP relative to the timing and treatment of HCCrecurrence wereexamined.RESULTS: Among 852 patients who underwent resection of HCC, 307 (36.0%) individuals developed a recurrence. The median rAFP level was 8ng/mL (interquartile range 3-100). Among the 307 patients who developed recurrence, 3-year post-recurrence survival was 48.5%. Patients with rAFP>10ng/mL had worse 3-year post-recurrence survival compared with individuals with rAFP<10ng/mL (28.7% vs. 65.5%, p<0.001). rAFP correlated with survival among patients who had early (3-year survival; rAFP>10 vs. <10ng/mL: 30.1% vs. 60.2%, p<0.001) or late (18.0% vs. 78.7%, p=0.03) recurrence. Furthermore, rAFP levels predicted 3-year post-recurrence survival among patients independent of the therapeutic modality used to treat the recurrent HCC (rAFP>10 vs.<10ng/mL; ablation: 41.1% vs. 76.0%; intra-arterial therapy: 12.9% vs. 46.1%; resection: 37.5% vs. 100%; salvage transplantation: 60% vs. 100%; all p<0.05). After adjusting for competing risk factors, patients with rAFP>10ng/mL had a twofold higher hazard of death in the post-recurrence setting (hazard ratio 1.96, 95% confidence interval 1.26-3.04).CONCLUSION: AFP levels at the time of recurrence following resection of HCC predicted post-recurrence survival independent of the secondary treatment modality used. Evaluating AFP levels at the time of recurrence can help inform post-recurrence risk stratification of patients with recurrent HCC.

View details for DOI 10.1245/s10434-021-09977-x

View details for PubMedID 33907924