pISSN 2671-8790 eISSN 2671-8804


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Korean J Transplant

Published online January 11, 2021

© The Korean Society for Transplantation

Salvage living donor liver transplantation for post-resection recurrence of combined hepatocellular carcinoma-cholangiocarcinoma

Minjae Kim , Shin Hwang , Gi-Won Song , Chul-Soo Ahn , Deok-Bog Moon , Dong-Hwan Jung , Gil-Chun Park , Sung-Gyu Lee

Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to: Shin Hwang
Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpagu, Seoul 05505, Korea
Tel: +82-2-3010-3930
Fax: +82-2-3010-6701
E-mail: shwang@amc.seoul.kr

Received: September 2, 2020; Revised: November 19, 2020; Accepted: November 20, 2020

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Salvage liver transplantation (LT) is a definite treatment for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after hepatectomy. Combined hepatocellular carcinoma-cholangiocarcinoma (cHCC-CC) is not eligibly indicated for LT because of high post-transplant recurrence. We present a case of salvage living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in a patient with tumor recurrence after surgical resection of cHCC-CC. A 61-year-old male patient diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B underwent right posterior sectionectomy for HCC. The pathological diagnosis revealed presence of a 3.2-cm-sized cHCC-CC with stem cell features and intermediate cell-subtype. Intrahepatic tumor recurrence occurred 9 months later and transarterial chemoembolization was performed. Due to the progress of recurrent tumors, ABO-incompatible LDLT was performed. The explant liver pathology revealed four small masses of cHCC-CC with stem cell features. Pulmonary metastasectomy and chest wall resection were performed for metastatic lesions at 10 months after LT. Multiple tumor recurrence was detected at 21 months after LT with progression despite sorafenib administration. Currently, the patient is alive for past 26 months after LT. In conclusion, the clinical sequences of this case suggest that the role of salvage LT for cHCC-CC is much more limited than that for HCC because the tumor biology of cHCC-CC is more aggressive compared with HCC.

Keywords: Hepatectomy, Tumor marker, Neoadjuvant therapy, Recurrence, Tumor biology