Welcome, jvr. I may be the person that Lucy mentioned. I have chronic active hep C and was diagnosed with HCC in the right lobe about 2 years ago. It had metastasized to the inferior vena cava, so I was told a transplant was out and so was surgery. However, I went to Mayo Clinic in my city (Jacksonville, FL), and while I was also given a death sentence, there was some hope through a study that was being conducted. Prior to that, I had a chemoembolization which shrunk the tumor considerably. Next, I participated in the study drug, TheraSphere, which is actually microscopic beads of radiation that are injected into the tumor. The result was that the metastasis shrunk into the original tumor and that tumor was killed--along with the right lobe of my liver. I had surgery to remove that lobe in May '07 and have remained cancer free thus far. At the time of surgery, they biopsied my left lobe and found "mild" cirrhosis.
I did have some complications from the surgery, namely an incisional hernia that was repaired in Dec. '07, but came back and was repaired again May 29th of this year. I have also had problems with ascites buildup and am on my 3rd drain. The previous two clogged up and stopped working. There has been no drainage in the past 24 hours, so I'm hoping to have this present drain removed tomorrow at my appt.
Everyone's situation is different. Is your husband getting treatment for the cancer and that's why it is shrinking? Exactly where is the cancer and is it all over the liver or just in one place? Has it metastasized? The answers to these questions may give you some insight about his eligibility for transplant. Has his doctor told you why he cannot have one? I was told that if the cancer comes back in the remaining left lobe, that I would then need a transplant. I think they try to avoid that if there is any other solution.
I hope this helps a little.