Objective: Evaluation of the trends in incidence, diagnostics, treatment and survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the Netherlands. Method: Data regarding incidence, diagnostics, primary treatment and survival of patients with HCC in the period 2009–2016 were obtained from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Trends in incidence, diagnostics, various treatment modalities (except liver transplantation, due to inaccurate data) and regional treatment preferences were analysed. Survival was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression modelling. Results: In the period of 2009–2016, 3838 patients were diagnosed with HCC. A distinct decrease in the percentage of patients who underwent tumour biopsy was observed (from 51% in 2009–2010 to 42% in 2015–2016). Percentage of patients who underwent cancer treatment increased markedly (from 49% in 2009–2010 to 57% in 2015–2016), mainly because of an increasing use of resection and ablation. The number of hospitals where resections were performed or sorafenib treatment prescribed decreased slightly. The number of hospitals sporadically (<1 ablation per year) performing ablations increased. There were significant differences between regions in the application of resection, ablation and transarterial chemoembolisation /radioembolisation (p < 0.05 after ‘case mix’-correction). One-, 3- and 5-year survival of patients with HCC significantly improved in the studied period. Receiving cancer treatment was associated with increased survival, whereas increasing age and an advanced tumour stage were both associated with decreased survival. Conclusion: From 2009 to 2016, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma more often received cancer treatment and their survival improved. There were significant differences in types of treatment between various regions.

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Keywords Cancer diagnostics, Cancer treatment, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Liver cancer, Survival
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.07.008, hdl.handle.net/1765/129530
Journal European Journal of Cancer
Reinders, M.T.M. (Margot T.M.), van Meer, S, Burgmans, M.C. (Mark C.), de Jong, K.P, Klümpen, H.J, de Man, R.A, … van der Geest, L.G.M. (2020). Trends in incidence, diagnosis, treatment and survival of hepatocellular carcinoma in a low-incidence country: Data from the Netherlands in the period 2009–2016. European Journal of Cancer, 137, 214–223. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2020.07.008