Background: African-Americans (AA) have a higher incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and lower survival. We characterized survival rates and clinical features associated with survival in AA vs. Caucasians with HCC over the past two decades. Methods: HCC patients from three US medical centers were matched by year of diagnosis (1991–2016): AA (n = 578)/Caucasian (n = 578) and placed in one of two groups—HCC diagnosed prior to 2010 or 2010 and after. Data were obtained from chart review and the National Death Index. Multivariate and survival analysis controlling for key predictors were conducted. Results: Prior to 2010, there was no difference in survival between Caucasians and AA (p = 0.61). After 2010, AA patients had poorer survival compared to Caucasians (35% vs. 44%, respectively, p = 0.044). Over time, survival improved for Caucasians (32% before 2010 vs. 44% after 2010, p = 0.003), but not AA (36% vs. 35%, p = 0.50). AA on presentation (in the after 2010 cohort) were more likely to have BCLC (Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer) stage C (24% vs. 15%, p = 0.010) and less likely to receive treatment (85% vs. 93%, p = 0.002) compared to matched Caucasians. BCLC beyond stage A (aHR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.26–2.43, p = 0.001) and child’s class C (aHR 2.05, 95% CI: 1.23–3.41, p = 0.006) were the strongest predictors of mortality, while race was not. Conclusion: African-Americans presented with more advanced HCC and had poorer survival compared to Caucasians after 2010. Tumor stage was an independent predictor of mortality, but ethnicity was not. Further efforts are needed to improve early HCC diagnosis for AA.
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