Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe
CIRSE Academy coursesInterventional Oncology - online coursesHepatocellular carcinoma (2021 – CME) – online course

Hepatocellular carcinoma (2021 – CME) – online course


Authors: D. Filippiadis and T. Helmberger

Reviewers: M. Calandri, A. Cullen, A. Kelekis, G. Makris and C. Nice

This course corresponds to chapter 2.2.5 Interventional Oncology (IO) in the European Curriculum and Syllabus for IR.



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common abdominal malignancy worldwide and one of the leading causes for death. The most common underlying disease is chronic inflammation in liver cirrhosis based on viral infections and alcohol abuse. The indication and decision for treating HCC must be based on the general condition of the liver and the specific presentation of the tumour. In Europe and most parts of the western world, the proposed staging system of the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer group (BCLC), or variants of this system, are used for HCC classification and treatment stratification. This system proposes five disease stages and adjusted therapies. Local ablation, resection or transplantation is proposed for the very early and early HCC stage. For the intermediate stage B, transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE) is proposed; stage B, together with advanced stage C, represent 50% of HCC patients. Interventional treatment options are also available in stage C patients, in whom anti-angiogenesis therapy with sorafenib is considered basically the only therapy. End-stage disease is governed by a very limited life expectancy where best supportive care alone will be indicated in the majority of cases. Beside the treatment stratification as proposed by the EASL-BCLC recommendation, there are specific relative and absolute contraindications with respect to the various therapeutic options. In general, all minimally invasive therapies in HCC are safe and necessitate only minor peri-procedural provisions.


Learning objectives

  • To learn about the hepatic anatomy, the pathophysiological background of HCC and the therapeutically relevant hepatic structures.
  • To understand diagnostic concepts in HCC, mainly by means of imaging.
  • To understand a current classification system for HCC with respect to treatment strategies.
  • To understand inclusion and exclusion criteria for various local therapies of HCC.
  • To learn about the requisites and the set-up of specific treatment procedures in HCC.
  • To learn about the outcome of minimally invasive therapies and potential complications.


Further information

This course covers a basic level of IR knowledge and is designed for trainees, students or young consultants aiming to acquire essential knowledge or prepare for the EBIR exam. Thereby, it is tailored to the European Curriculum and Syllabus for IR and corresponds to chapter 2.2.5 Interventional Oncology (IO).

The format of the course is interactive and easy to use, including texts, graphics, videos and a quiz to support your learning. The course duration is around one hour and is accredited by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) to award 1 European CME credit (ECMEC). The CME accreditation for this course will expire on February 18, 2023. A non-CME accredited version of the course will remain available for two more years.

Access to complete and revisit the course is granted for an enrolment period of 90 days.

The CME certificate will be available in the myCIRSE area past the enrolment period if the course is completed before February 18, 2023.

Release date: February 2021