Treating ischaemia-reperfusion injury with prostaglandin E1 reduces the risk of early hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence following liver transplantation

A. Kornberg, U. Witt, J. Kornberg, H. Friess, K. Thrum

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18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Surgical stress by hepatic ischaemia-reperfusion (I/R) is supposed to promote intra- and extrahepatic tumour recurrence. Treatment with prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) has been shown to attenuate hepatic I/R injury in liver transplant patients, but the potential anti-cancer effects have not been analysed. Aim To evaluate the impact of PGE1 therapy on risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence in liver transplant patients. Methods A retrospective review of 106 liver transplant patients with HCC was conducted. Fifty-nine patients underwent early post-liver transplantation (LT) treatment with the stable PGE1 analogue alprostadil. Administration of alprostadil was correlated with outcome in uni- and multivariate analysis. Subgroup analysis focused on patients with HCC beyond the Milan criteria (Milan Out) on radiographic imaging. Results Three- and 5-year recurrence-free survival rates were 87.9% and 85.7% in the PGE1-group, but only 65.3% and 63.1% in the non-PGE1-population (P = 0.003). Multivariate Cox regression analysis identified absence of PGE1-treatment (HR = 11.42), along with presence of poor tumour grading (HR = 2.69) and microvascular tumour invasion (HR = 35.8) to be independently associated with early (within 12 months) HCC recurrence. In Milan Out-patients, only therapy with PGE1 (HR = 5.09) and well/moderate tumour differentiation (HR = 6.51) were independent promoters of recurrence-free survival. Conclusions Treating hepatic ischaemia-reperfusion injury with alprostadil reduces the risk of early HCC recurrence following LT. In particular patients with HCC exceeding the Milan criteria seem to benefit from PGE1-treatment. The molecular mechanisms of the anti-tumour effects need to be further assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1110
Number of pages10
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume42
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

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