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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Murtha

Impact of Type 2 Diabetes on Oncologic Outcomes of Hepatocellular Carcinomas in Non-Cirrhotic...

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Impact of Type 2 Diabetes on Oncologic Outcomes of Hepatocellular Carcinomas in Non-Cirrhotic, Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis: a Matched-Pair Analysis

Adrian T Billeter, Philip C Müller, Thomas Albrecht, Stephanie Roessler, Moritz Löffler, Anastasia Lemekhova, Arianeb Mehrabi, Beat P. Müller-Stich, Katrin Hoffmann

DOI: 10.1007/s11605-020-04628-0


Background: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) associated hepatocellular carcinomas (NASH-HCC) are increasing. NASH-HCC often develops in the fibrotic liver. Several analyses report conflicting results regarding the outcome of non-cirrhotic NASH-HCC. Furthermore, type 2 diabetes (T2D) is considered a risk factor for poor survival. The aim of this study was to investigate oncological outcomes of non-cirrhotic NASH-HCC and the impact of T2D.

Methods: Patients with non-cirrhotic NASH-HCC with T2D as determined by an expert pathologist conducting histological slide review were matched for risks factors for poor outcome (age, gender, body mass index) with patients with NASH-HCC without T2D. These patients were then matched 1:1 with HCCs of other underlying liver diseases with and without T2D. Oncological outcomes were assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves.

Results: Out of 365 HCCs resected between 2001 and 2017, 34 patients with non-cirrhotic NASH-HCC were selected (17 with T2D, 17 without T2D) and matched with 26 patients with hepatitis-HCC and 28 patients with alcohol-related HCC. Oncological risk factors such as tumor size, resection margin, and vessel invasion were comparable. There was no difference in overall survival (5-year survival 71.3% for NASH-HCC, 60.4% for hepatitis-HCC, 79.9% for alcohol-HCC). NASH-HCC was associated with longer disease-specific survival than hepatitis-HCC (5-year 87.5% vs. 63.7%, p = 0.048), while recurrence-free survival was identical. T2D had no impact on oncological outcomes in either liver disease.

Conclusion: Non-cirrhotic NASH-HCC has outcomes comparable with other underling etiologies. Despite a lack of cirrhosis, patients with non-cirrhotic NASH-HCC have the same risks of HCC recurrence as patients with cirrhotic liver disease of other etiologies.

Keywords: Diabetes; HCC; NAFLD; NASH; Non-cirrhotic HCC; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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