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Impact of tumor burden on prognostic prediction for patients with terminal stage hepatocellular carcinoma: A nomogram study
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The recently proposed nomogram of Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) lacks predictive accuracy for patients with stage D hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Tumor burden is crucial in prognostic prediction but is not included in the criteria of stage D HCC. This study aims to develop a nomogram with tumor burden as the core element for BCLC stage D patients. Methods A total of 386 patients were randomly grouped into derivation and validation sets (1: 1 ratio). The multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was used to select factors with significant prognostic effect and generate the nomogram. Concordance indices and calibration plots were used to evaluate the performance of nomogram. Results Overall survival of study patients was significantly associated with tumor burden as well as hepatitis B, serum a-fetoprotein level, cirrhosis and performance status in multivariate Cox regression (all p< 0.05). Beta-coefficients of these variables in derivation set were used to generate the nomogram. Each patient was assigned with a total nomogram point that predicted individualized 6-month and 1-year survival. The derivation and validation sets had a c-index of 0.759 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.552-0.923) and 0.741 (95% CI: 0.529-0.913), respectively. The calibration plots were close to the 45-degree line for 6month and 1-year survival prediction for all quarters of patients in both derivation and validation sets. Conclusion Tumor burden is significantly associated with the outcome for patients with stage D HCC. The tumor burden-incorporated nomogram may serve as a feasible and easy-to-use tool in predicting survival on an individual level.