Semin Liver Dis 2010; 30(1): 061-074
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1247133
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Current Strategy for Staging and Treatment: The BCLC Update and Future Prospects

Alejandro Forner1 , 2 , María E. Reig1 , 2 , Carlos Rodriguez de Lope1 , Jordi Bruix1 , 2
  • 1Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) Group, Liver Unit, ICMDM, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBERehd), Barcelona, Spain
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
19 February 2010 (online)


Staging and treatment indication are relevant topics in the management of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and for optimal results, they have to take into account liver function, tumor stage, and physical status. For any staging system to be meaningful it has to link staging with treatment indication; this should be based on robust scientific data. Currently, the sole proposal that serves both aims is the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) approach. It takes into account the relevant parameters of all important dimensions and divides patients into very early/early, intermediate, advanced, and end-stage. Early-stage HCC patients should be considered for potentially curative options such as resection, ablation, and transplantation. Patients at intermediate stage benefit from chemoembolization, whereas patients at an advanced stage, or who cannot benefit from options of higher priority, have sorafenib as the standard treatment. Finally, patients at end-stage should merely receive palliative care.


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Jordi BruixM.D. 

BCLC Group, Liver Unit, Hospital Clínic, c/Villarroel, 170, Escala 11

4ª planta, 08036 Barcelona, Spain