Hepatocellular carcinoma presenting with bone metastasis: Clinical characteristics and prognostic factors

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Purpose: The survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been prolonged with improvements in various diagnostic tools and treatment modalities. Consequently, bone metastases from HCC are diagnosed more frequently. We investigated the clinical features, prognosis, treatment outcomes, and prognostic factors of HCC presenting with bone metastasis. Methods: Between June 2000 and April 2007, we recruited 37 consecutive HCC patients presenting with bone metastasis. These patients were divided into an untreated control group (n = 16) and a treated group (n = 21). Results: The mean age of the patients was 61.1 years (male:female, 31:6). The most common cause of HCC was hepatitis B virus infection (56.8%). Twenty-two patients (59.5%) were of Child-Pugh class A and 15 (40.5%) were of Child-Pugh class B. Spinal metastasis was most common and noted in 21 patients (56.7%). The treatment modalities in the treated group included intra-arterial chemotherapy in nine patients (42.8%), systemic chemotherapy in five (23.8%), and both intra-arterial and systemic chemotherapy in seven (33.4%). The median survival of all patients was 6.2 months (range 0.7-46.6); that of untreated control group and the treated group was 2.9 (range 0.7-42.2) and 9.7 (range 0.9-46.6) months, respectively, with no significant difference (log-rank test, P = 0.081). Cox regression analysis revealed that the presence of ascites at the initial presentation was the only prognostic factor (P = 0.016). Conclusion: Although our study showed that locoregional and/or systemic chemotherapy did not provide significant survival prolongation compared to supportive care in patients with HCC initially accompanied by bone metastasis, a more large-scaled randomized study might be required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1384
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cancer research and clinical oncology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported by the grant of the Good Health R&D Project from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A050021), and in part by the grant from Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science. The author thanks Mooyoung Han, Ph.D. (Department of Biostatistics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea) for critical comments on statistics.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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