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Transplantation proceedings

Everolimus-based immunosuppression in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma at high risk of recurrence after liver transplantation: a case series.


PMID 25498079

Abstract

Liver transplantation offers the most effective treatment in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, transplant patients outside the Milan criteria have a high risk of tumor recurrence, which has been linked to standard immunosuppression regimens. Everolimus is a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor that has been used for immunosuppression, but its effect on recurrence and survival in HCC patients with a high risk of tumor recurrence has not been examined. We compared long-term survival and cumulative recurrence in high-risk patients receiving everolimus-based immunosuppression after liver transplantation for HCC with an historic control group. The everolimus group comprised 21 patients receiving a liver transplant at our center from February 2005 to December 2010. The control group comprised 31 patients receiving a liver transplant from May 1994 to January 2005. All patients received cyclosporine or tacrolimus as initial post-transplant immunosuppression. Patients in the everolimus group switched to everolimus 2 weeks later. There were no differences between the two groups in number of rejection episodes or of infectious or surgical complications. Five-year survival was 60.2% in the everolimus group and 32.3% in the control group (Pxa0= .05). Five-year cumulative recurrence rate was 61.3% in the control group and 41.3% in the everolimus group. Treatment with everolimus was identified as an independent predictor of longer survival (hazard ratioxa0= 0.34; Pxa0= .02). Patients receiving liver transplantation for HCC with a high risk of tumor recurrence may well benefit from everolimus-based immunosuppression, with no added risks of rejection or other post-transplant complications.