Trends in incidence, diagnosis, treatment and survival of hepatocellular carcinoma in a low-incidence country: Data from the Netherlands in the period 2009-2016

Margot T. M. Reinders*, Suzanne van Meer, Mark C. Burgmans, Koert P. de Jong, Heinz-Josef Klumpen, Robert A. de Man, D. (Sandjai) Ramsoekh, Dave Sprengers, Eric T. T. L. Tjwa, Judith de Vos-Geelen, Karel J. van Erpecum, Lydia G. M. van der Geest, Dutch Hepatocellular & Cholangiocarcinoma Group (DHCG)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: Evaluation of the trends in incidence, diagnostics, treatment and survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the Netherlands.

Method: Data regarding incidence, diagnostics, primary treatment and survival of patients with HCC in the period 2009-2016 were obtained from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Trends in incidence, diagnostics, various treatment modalities (except liver transplantation, due to inaccurate data) and regional treatment preferences were analysed. Survival was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression modelling.

Results: In the period of 2009-2016, 3838 patients were diagnosed with HCC. A distinct decrease in the percentage of patients who underwent tumour biopsy was observed (from 51% in 2009-2010 to 42% in 2015-2016). Percentage of patients who underwent cancer treatment increased markedly (from 49% in 2009-2010 to 57% in 2015-2016), mainly because of an increasing use of resection and ablation. The number of hospitals where resections were performed or sorafenib treatment prescribed decreased slightly. The number of hospitals sporadically (

Conclusion: From 2009 to 2016, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma more often received cancer treatment and their survival improved. There were significant differences in types of treatment between various regions. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver cancer
  • Cancer diagnostics
  • Cancer treatment
  • Survival

Cite this