"Clinical practice guidelines for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)," the first evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of HCC in Japan (the J-HCC Guidelines) have been compiled and English translation has just been completed (http://www.jsh.or.jp/). In March 2006, approximately a year after publication of the J-HCC Guideline Book, a questionnaire survey was conducted to investigate the level of awareness and influence of the guidelines among 2,279 members of the Liver Cancer Study Group of Japan. Of the 843 responders (37.0%), the J-HCC Guidelines have been acknowledged by 72% and 78.8% considered the guidelines useful for their daily practice. Algorithm for the treatment was most commonly used. After the introduction of the guidelines, only 20.8% of the responders changed their practice pattern; 40.3% did not change and were convinced that their choice of treatment was similar to the recommendations in the guidelines. In conclusion, one year after their publication, the J-HCC Guidelines have become well disseminated among specialists for HCC in Japan. As expected, these guidelines have begun to be applied at every level of clinical decision-making for HCC.
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