Impact of model for end-stage liver disease on patient survival and disease-free survival in patients receiving liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma.Transplant Proc 2009 Jan-Feb; 41(1):216-8TP
We combined data from two transplant centers to determine the impact of the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) allocation system on outcomes in patients undergoing liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We compared 55 patients listed before MELD to 117 patients in the MELD era. Patients before MELD were less likely to receive a transplant (67% vs 91%) and waited a median of 127 days vs 20 days (P < .001). On an intention to treat (ITT) basis, the 1-, 3-, and 5-year survivals for patients before MELD were 79%, 60%, and 48%, and in the MELD era were 84%, 73%, and 73% (P = .055). On an ITT basis, the 1-, 3-, and 5-year tumor-free survivals before MELD were 58%, 58%, and 55% vs 83%, 74%, and 70% in the MELD era (P = .018). In patients who received a transplant, however, there were no differences in overall or tumor-free survival. In these patients, the 1-, 3-, and 5-year patient survivals were 92%, 84%, and 67% before MELD, and 90%, 81%, and 81% in the MELD era (P = .57). In transplanted patients, the 1-, 3-, and 5-year tumor-free survivals before MELD were 88%, 88%, and 83% vs 92%, 83%, and 78% in the MELD era (P = .403). On explant, patients listed before MELD had lower grade tumors (P = .046). We concluded that patients with HCC listed in the MELD era had higher and more rapid rates of transplantation with improvements in survival. However, the more efficacious rates of transplantation did not result in lower rates of tumor recurrence.