[Quality of life of primary hepatocellular carcinoma patients after radiofrequency ablation]

Yan-Bin Wang, Min-Hua Chen, Kun Yan, Wei Yang, Ying Dai, Shan-Shan Yin
Ai Zheng, Aizheng, Chinese Journal of Cancer 2005, 24 (7): 827-33

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Previously, treatment outcome evaluation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was focused on cure rate, survival rate, and survival time. The quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients has been emphasized during the past decade, and used to evaluate treatment outcome of cancer and chronic disease. This study aimed to evaluate the QOL of HCC patients treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and compare with that of patients treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) or TACE in combination with RFA.

METHODS: A QOL questionnaire (QOL-LC V2.0) was used on 160 HCC patients, in which 80 patients underwent RFA (RFA group), 40 underwent TACE (TACE group), and 40 underwent TACE in combination with RFA (combination group). The 3 groups were comparable in distributions of age, gender, clinical stage, and so on.

RESULTS: The median overall QOL score was higher in RFA group and combination group than in TACE group (168.6 vs. 146.8, P=0.025; 162.8 vs. 146.8, P>0.05). The median QOL score in symptom/side effect domain was significantly higher in RFA group and combination group than in TACE group (45.5 and 46.0 vs. 38.1, P<0.01). The physical score was slightly higher in RFA group and combination group than in TACE group. Spearman's correlation analysis showed that age, income, liver function, tumor recurrence, and complications were related to the QOL of HCC patients after treatment. The degree of liver function damage, complications, and tumor recurrence were significantly higher in TACE group than in RFA group (P<0.05). The 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates of RFA group were significantly higher than those of TACE group (92.8% vs. 74.3%, 89.3% vs. 48.2%, and 76.5% vs. 48.2%, P=0.041), but had no significant difference with those of combination group (94.1%, 87.4%, and 60.0%).

CONCLUSIONS: RFA is an effective and micro-invasive treatment for liver cancer. Compare with TACE alone, TACE in combination with RFA may decrease liver function damage and improve QOL of HCC patients.

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