Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide.
Prognosis and quality of life: only 10-15% of HCC patients have curative options at the time of diagnosis.
This clinical factor plus the high prevalence of cirrhosis as a comorbidity contributes to a 5-year survival rate of only 10%. Whereas, the one-year survival rate is 77-83% with treatment (33% without treatment) when HCC is localized to the liver; the one-year survival of metastatic disease is only 15%.
HCC patients often suffer from pain, jaundice, anorexia, and depression as well as ascites, fatigue and edema from coexisting cirrhosis. This debilitating symptom burden leads to a diminished health-related quality of life.