Re-evaluation of lipiodolized transarterial chemoembolization therapy for intrahepatic recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after curative liver resection

Susumu Eguchi, Shigehiro Matsumoto, Koji Hamasaki, Mitsuhisa Takatsuki, Masaaki Hidaka, Yoshitsugu Tajima, Ichiro Sakamoto, Takashi Kanematsu
Journal of Hepato-biliary-pancreatic Surgery 2008, 15 (6): 627-33

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: While lipiodolized transarterial chemoembolization (lip-TACE) is effective for treating unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), its effect for treating recurrent HCC after curative liver resection needs to be clarified.

METHODS: Of 163 patients who had undergone curative liver resection between 1992 and December 2003, 65 patients (39.8%) had recurrent HCC in the liver without extrahepatic recurrence and were indicated for lip-TACE. The overall survival rate after lip-TACE was calculated, and its correlation with factors such as the histology of the primary HCC and background noncancerous tissue were analyzed.

RESULTS: The overall survival rates after lip-TACE after the detection of the first recurrent HCC were 82.6%, 44.5%, and 24.8% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively. The factors affecting patient survival after lip-TACE were microscopic portal venous involvement of HCC at liver resection, grade of inflammation in the noncancerous liver parenchyma, and recurrence within 1 year after the initial liver resection. Multivariate analysis showed that the period between the resection and first recurrence had the highest hazard ratio.

CONCLUSIONS: Lip-TACE is a reasonable procedure for treating recurrent HCC in selected patients who are not eligible for hepatic re-resection. When HCC recurred within 1 year from the primary liver resection, the effect of lip-TACE on patient survival was limited.

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