Impact of sirolimus on the recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation

Srinath Chinnakotla, Gary L. Davis, Sugam Vasani, Peter Kim, Koji Tomiyama, Edmund Sanchez, Nicholas Onaca, Robert Goldstein, Marlon Levy, Göran B. Klintmalm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Tumor recurrence after liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma is associated with a poor prognosis. Because immunosuppression is a well-known risk factor for tumor growth, it is surprising that its possible role in the outcome of liver transplantation has been poorly evaluated. We performed a case-control review of prospectively collected data and compared 2 groups of patients according to the type of immunosuppression after liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma at a single center. One hundred six patients received tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil, and 121 received sirolimus. Patients in the sirolimus group had significantly higher recurrence-free survival rates than patients in the tacrolimus group (P = 0.0003). The sirolimus group also had significantly higher patient survival rates than the tacrolimus group at 1 year (94% versus 79%), 3 years (85% versus 66%), and 5 years (80% versus 59%; P = 0.001). Sirolimus was well tolerated, and the patients in this study did not have the increase in surgical complications noted by other investigators. Leukopenia was the most common side effect, but it typically resolved with dose reduction. Dyslipidemia and mouth ulcers were common but were easily controlled. In summary, the data suggest a beneficial effect of sirolimus immunosuppression on recurrence-free survival, which translates into patient survival benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1834-1842
Number of pages9
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of sirolimus on the recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this