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BACKGROUND: The acceptance of liver transplantation in the management of hepatic malignancy declined after early poor outcomes. Despite recent developments, including stricter selection criteria and improved adjuvant therapies, the role of liver transplantation in the management of cancer remains controversial. This review explores the evidence for the current role of liver transplantation in the management of hepatic malignancy in the context of recent advances in surgical resection and non-surgical treatments. METHODS: A literature search was conducted using the Cochrane Library and Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE, using terms for hepatic malignancy and interventions that included liver transplantation, percutaneous interventions, chemotherapy and surgical resection. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: In patients with primary hepatocellular carcinoma, improved selection has led to outcomes equivalent to those from surgical resection and comparable to those in patients transplanted for non-malignant indications. Recent studies suggest that selection criteria may be refined further. Surgical resection or percutaneous therapies may reduce the risk of progression while waiting for a transplant. Recent improvements have occurred in neoadjuvant therapies for cholangiocarcinoma. Nevertheless, a number of questions regarding the role of liver transplantation for hepatic malignancy remain.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Surg

Publication Date





1319 - 1330


Carcinoma, Hepatocellular, Cholangiocarcinoma, Humans, Liver Neoplasms, Liver Transplantation, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic