Background: More than 50% of the worldwide cases of hepatocellular carcinoma occur in China, and this malignancy currently represents the country's second leading cause of cancer death in cities and the leading cause in rural areas. Despite recent advances in the control and management of hepatocellular carcinoma within China, this disease remains a major health care issue. The global HCC BRIDGE study, designed to assess patterns of hepatocellular carcinoma therapy use and associated outcomes across real-world clinical practice, has recently been expanded as a national study in China, allowing a detailed analysis of hepatocellular carcinoma in this important country.Methods/Design: The global HCC BRIDGE study is a multiregional longitudinal cohort trial including patients newly diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma between January 1, 2005, and June 30, 2011, who are receiving treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma via sites in the Asia-Pacific, European, and North American regions. The HCC BRIDGE China national study comprises the portion of the global HCC BRIDGE study conducted within mainland China. Patients will be followed from time of diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (post-January 1, 2005) to time of death or December 31, 2011, whichever comes first. Data will be collected on demographic/clinical characteristics, relevant laboratory values, hepatocellular carcinoma/underlying liver disease treatment, tumor response, adverse events, hospitalizations, and overall survival. The primary study end point is overall survival; secondary end points are disease progression, treatment-limiting adverse events, and treatment failure.Results: At the time of writing, 15 sites have selected for participation across all 7 traditional regions of China (North, North-East, East, South, South-West, North-West, and Central). The anticipated study population from the China national study is approximately 9000 patients.Discussion: Findings from the HCC BRIDGE China national study, the first geographically representative study of hepatocellular carcinoma in China, will contribute to the understanding of patterns of therapy use and related clinical outcomes and will provide further information on continuing unmet needs for hepatocellular carcinoma throughout this important country.
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