Roles of Ethnicity in Survival of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients in Malaysia

  • Azmawati, M.N. (Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) ;
  • Krisnan, R. (Department of Surgery, Hospital Selayang)
  • Published : 2012.12.31


The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Malaysia for the year 2001 was 2.8 per 100,000 people. The mortality rate is increasing. A retrospective cohort study measuring the survival of HCC patients who received treatment in Selayang Hospital was conducted from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2006. The main objectives of the study were to measure the survival of the patients and to understand the influencing factors, especially ethnicity. The subjects were newly diagnosed cases of HCC by CT scan and histopathological assessment who underwent futher investigations and treatments in Hospital Selayang (inception cohort). The survival time was measured from the date of diagnosis until the subjects died, or failed to follow-up at the end of the study period (31 December 2007). A total of 299 patients were selected with 95 patients dying, the majority among Chinese (39.1%). Subgroup analysis according to ethnicity proved significantly that Chinese patients who had smaller tumor, less number of nodules, low AFP level, Child Pugh Class A and received surgical treatment had a better median survival rate compared to other ethnic groups. Malay (cHR: 1.3, 95%CI; 0.89-1.85) and Indian (cHR: 1.3, 95%CI; 0.74-2.26) patients had a poor survival compared to Chinese patients, but not in the final model. Therefore ethnicity may play a role in survival of HCC patients, but not as a main hazard prognostic factor.


Ethnicity;survival;HCC;prognostic factors;Malaysia


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