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Hepatocellular Carcinoma Service

HCC is the most common type of primary liver cancer. The choice of treatment depends on a number of factors including exact location and stage of the cancer as well as the patients liver function.
The aim of the treatment is to slow progression, improve quality of live and prolong survival.
Treatment options include:
• Chemotherapy (intravenous or by hepatic artery infusion)
• Surgical excision
• Transarterial chemo-embolisation (TACE)
• Radio-frequency ablation (RFA)

For more information see standard operating procedure (SOP) for hepatocellular carcinoma and refer to NICE guidelines.

Referrals for the management of hepatocellular carcinoma come from either within the hospital, across the region or from other centres in the UK. The team at the Royal consists of two hepatologists, two interventional radiologists and two oncologists), a clinical nurse specialist and a MDT co-ordinator

Cases are referred into the team and cases are discussed at a weekly MDT held at Aintree University Hospital to plan initial treatments. A local meeting is held weekly at the Royal Liverpool to assess responses to treatment and help decide on future management. We are linked in to the liver unit in Birmingham to discuss patients who may benefit from liver transplantation.

The service is involved in clinical research and leads on some national studies in oncology, and novel treatments that are not routinely available in other UK centres e.g. non-thermal ablations (IRE), microwave ablation and radio-embolization’s.

The service continues to grow and sees between 30-45 new referrals a year, and has now appointed a research MD fellow and hopes to continue to grow in the future.