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Hepatocellular Carcinoma Case Studies

Richard Finn, MD: Next Steps for Jose

Richard Finn, MD
Published Online:Jun 18, 2015
Jose V is a 73-year-old Filipino store owner from Queens, New York, with a history of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection and unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC).

Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: case 1


Dr. Finn discusses a few options. One would be to follow him until disease progression. He is not going to be cured with chemoembolization. Certainly the procedure does extend survival in selective patients, however, and he has had an overall favorable response, so another option would be to stop further chemoembolization at this time and reimage in 2 to 3 months to assess tumor burden. The other option would be to try another chemoembolization procedure, should he be fit enough physiologically to support another chemoembolization. At this point, Dr. Finn would suggest to do either a chemoembolization procedure, or follow him and, at disease progression, consider initiating systemic treatment.

CASE 1: Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Jose V is a 73-year-old Filipino store owner from Queens, New York, with a history of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection and unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC).

In May 2014, patient was referred to a hepatologist with an elevated ALT (68 IU/mL)
  • Medical history includes type II diabetes, previously treated with metformin and a sulfonylurea; currently controlled with diet and exercise regimen; other MH was unremarkable
  • Family history was relevant for a sister who was diagnosed with HCC and chronic HBV infection at age 60
  • No symptoms of liver disease were noted; patient had mild tenderness over the right upper quadrant
  • Ultrasound revealed a hyperechoic lesion in the left lobe; MRI with gadolinium showed an 11-cm mass in the left lobe with imaging characteristics consistent with HCC. No evidence of metastatic disease was noted on bone scan and uncontrasted CT scan of the chest.
  • Based on laboratory findings and clinical features, the patient was determined to have Child Pugh Class A, with a MELD score of 8
  • Consultation with the multidisciplinary team recommended surgical resection, however patient was fearful of surgery and opted for TACE procedure
In June of 2014, follow-up CT scan showed evidence of residual disease at the TACE site; a second TACE was scheduled for 10 weeks following the first TACE. In August of 2014, an MRI showed evidence of residual disease in the periphery of the tumor approximately 6 weeks following the second TACE procedure.
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