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Sicily Network for Liver Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Network Model for the Management of Primary Liver Tumors

  • Authors: Celsa C.; Cabibbo G.; Pagano D.; Di Marco V.; Camma C.; Gruttadauria S.
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Background: The management of primary liver tumors requires the involvement of multiple specialist skills and the best possible treatment in terms of cost, risk, and benefit that could be provided by hepatobiliary or transplant surgeon, interventional radiologist, hepatologist, radiotherapist, or oncologist is needed to be chosen for each patient. This is particularly relevant for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), that is the most common primary liver tumor, and it occurs in more than 90% of cases in the setting of cirrhosis. Methods: To address the increasing complexity of cancer care, multidisciplinary tumor boards (MDTBs) have evolved to offer patients appropriate and tailored cancer treatments. In Sicily (Italy), MDTBs have been organized in a Regional Network, the Sicily Network for Liver Cancer, that answers to the need for an equal and fair access to cancer care, to improve the diagnostic and therapeutic appropriateness, to ease patients care, to improve the efficacy of cancer treatments, and finally to optimize the risk-cost-benefit ratio of therapies and follow-up. Results: It has been shown that multidisciplinary management is associated with significantly improved survival in patients with liver cancer. In this study, we present the aims, the organization, and the current and future activities of the Sicily Network for Liver Cancer, an integrated health care multidisciplinary network for the management of patients with primary liver tumors in Sicily. Conclusions: The coexistence of two diseases (HCC and cirrhosis) requires the expertise of many physicians to provide optimal care to patients with HCC. Treatment decisions should be discussed in multidisciplinary meetings, as no single treatment strategy can be applied to all patients, and treatment must be individualized to improve overall survival of patients with liver tumors.