Background The impact of a prolonged time-to-surgery (TTS) among patients with resectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not well defined.Methods Patients who underwent curative-intent hepatectomy for BCLC-0, A and B HCC between 2000 and 2017 were identified using a multi-institutional database. The impact of prolonged TTS on overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) was examined.Results Among 775 patients who underwent resection for HCC, 537 (69.3%) had early surgery (TTS < 90 days) and 238 (30.7%) patients had a delayed surgery (TTS >= 90 days). Patient- and tumor-related characteristics were similar between the two groups except for a higher proportion of patients undergoing major liver resection in the early surgery group (31.3% vs. 23.8%, p = .04). The percentage of patients with delayed surgery varied from 8.8% to 59.1% among different centers (p < .001). Patients with TTS < 90 days had similar 5-year OS (63.7% vs. 64.9; p = .79) and 5-year DFS (33.5% vs. 42.4; p = .20) with that of patients with TTS >= 90 days. On multivariable analysis, delayed surgery was not associated with neither worse OS (BCLC-0/A: adjusted hazards ratio [aHR] = 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.65-1.25 and BCLC-B: aHR = 0.72; 95%CI: 0.30-1.74) nor DFS (BCLC-0/A: aHR = 0.78; 95%CI: 0.60-1.01 and BCLC-B: aHR = 0.67; 95% CI: 0.36-1.25).Conclusion Approximately one in three patients diagnosed with resectable HCC had a prolonged TTS. Delayed surgery was not associated with worse outcomes among patients with resectable HCC.
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