COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Transarterial chemoembolization for inoperable, early stage hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with Child-Pugh grade A and B: results of a comparative study in 96 Chinese patients

Man Fung Yuen, Annie On-On Chan, Benjamin Chun-Yu Wong, Chee Kin Hui, Gaik Cheng Ooi, Wai Kuen Tso, He Jun Yuan, Danny Ka-Ho Wong, Ching Lung Lai
American Journal of Gastroenterology 2003, 98 (5): 1181-5
12809846

OBJECTIVE: The efficacy of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) in prolongation of survival is controversial. We conducted a comparative study to determine whether TACE treatment had any survival benefit for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and with relatively preserved liver function.

METHODS: In all, 96 patients with unresectable HCC of Okuda stage I or II and Child-Pugh grade A or B were recruited. A total of 80 patients (group 1) who received TACE were compared to 16 patients (group 2) who were treated conservatively.

RESULTS: The median survival time of group 1 patients was significantly longer than that of group 2 patients (31.2 vs 14.1 months respectively, p = 0.0126). The cumulative survival rates at 6 months, 1 yr, 2 yr, 3 yr, and 4 yr of group 1 compared to group 2 were as follows: 93.8% versus 62.5% (p = 0.002); 86.3% versus 62.5% (p = 0.023); 78.8% versus 50% (p = 0.017); 57.5% versus 50% (p = ns); and 51.3% versus 43.8% (p = ns), respectively. Tumor response was observed in 28% of patients receiving TACE. Patients with higher pretreatment albumin levels, lower pretreatment alpha-fetoprotein levels, and Okuda stage I disease were associated with a favorable response to TACE.

CONCLUSION: TACE treatment improved survival in patients with unresectable HCC in the early stages and with relatively preserved liver function.

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