Julie K. Heimbach, MD, discusses the need for multidisciplinary care in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Julie K. Heimbach, MD, transplant surgeon, surgical director of Liver Transplantation, Mayo Clinic, discusses the need for multidisciplinary care in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
A unique aspect of HCC is that patients often have underlying liver disease, commonly cirrhotic liver disease, and so a multidisciplinary treatment approach is necessary, according to Heimbach. For example, oncology experts are needed to treat the liver with systemic therapy, and radiologists are needed to administer liver-directed treatment, Heimbach says. Furthermore, surgical teams may be needed for transplant and resection in these patients, Heimbach adds.
Treatment decisions depend on tumor characteristics, underlying liver disease characteristics, and systemic comorbidities, Heimbach adds. As such, a multidisciplinary team is needed to determine the best approach for each patient, Heimbach concludes.