Many US patients with liver cancer--even those with early stage disease that can often be cured--do not receive treatment for their disease, according to an analysis of studies published between 1989 and 2013.
Less than one fourth of patients undergo curative treatment, and nearly 50% do not receive any treatment. Elderly, non-Caucasians and patients of low socioeconomic status had lower treatment rates than their counterparts.
"We found the low treatment rates among patients with early stage tumors particularly concerning. Many of these patients currently fail to receive any treatment despite having curative treatment options that could afford long-term survival," said Dr. Amit Singal, senior author of the Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics paper. "These findings highlight the urgent need for interventions such as multidisciplinary management clinics to optimize treatment of patients with primary liver cancer."