Colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms impairs survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1007/s00432-021-03741-0. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: MDRO-colonization has been shown to impair survival in patients with hematological malignancies and solid tumors as well as in patients with liver disease. Despite the increasing spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), its impact on patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been studied. We conducted this retrospective study to analyze the impact of MDRO-colonization on overall prognosis in HCC patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients with confirmed HCC diagnosed between January 2008 and December 2017 at the University Hospital Frankfurt were included in this study. HCC patients with a positive MDRO screening before or within the first 90 days after diagnosis of HCC were defined as colonized HCC patients, HCC patients with a negative MDRO screening were defined as noncolonized HCC patients.

RESULTS: 59 (6%) colonized and 895 (94%) noncolonized HCC patients were included. Enterobacterales with extended-spectrum β-lactamase-like phenotype with or without resistance to fluoroquinolones (ESBL/ ± FQ) were the most frequently found MDRO with 59%, followed by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium with 37%. Colonized HCC patients had more severe cirrhosis and more advanced HCC stage compared to noncolonized HCC patients. Colonized HCC patients showed an impaired survival with a median OS of 189 days (6.3 months) compared to a median OS of 1001 days (33.4 months) in noncolonized HCC patients. MDRO-colonization was identified as an independent risk factor associated with survival in multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION: MDRO-colonization is an independent risk factor for survival in patients with HCC highlighting the importance of regular MDRO screening, isolation measures as well as interdisciplinary antibiotic steward-ship programs to guide responsible use of antibiotic agents.

PMID:34283288 | DOI:10.1007/s00432-021-03741-0