Ten-year outcomes of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation as first-line therapy of early hepatocellular carcinoma: analysis of prognostic factors

Young-sun Kim, Hyo Keun Lim, Hyunchul Rhim, Min Woo Lee, Dongil Choi, Won Jae Lee, Seung Woon Paik, Kwang Cheol Koh, Joon Hyeok Lee, Moon Seok Choi, Geum-Youn Gwak, Byung Chul Yoo
Journal of Hepatology 2013, 58 (1): 89-97

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The aim was to assess 10-year outcomes of radiofrequency ablation as a first-line therapy of early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma with an analysis of prognostic factors.

METHODS: From April 1999 to April 2011, 1305 patients (male:female=993:312; mean age, 58.4 years) with 1502 early-stage hepatocellular carcinomas (mean size, 2.2 cm) were treated with percutaneous radiofrequency ablation as a first-line option. Follow-up period ranged from 0.4 to 146.6 months (median, 33.4 months). We assessed the 10-year follow-up results of recurrences and survival with the analyses of prognostic factors.

RESULTS: Recurrences occurred in 795 patients (1-17 times), which were managed with various therapeutic modalities. The cumulative local tumor progression rates were 27.0% and 36.9% at 5 and 10 years, respectively, for which the only significant risk factor was large tumor size (B=0.584, p=0.001). Cumulative intrahepatic distant and extrahepatic recurrence rates were 73.1% and 88.5%, and 19.1% and 38.2% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Corresponding overall survival rates were 59.7% and 32.3%, respectively. Poor survival was associated with old age (B=0.043, p=0.010), Child-Pugh class B (B=-1.054, p<0.001), absence of antiviral therapy during follow-up (B=-0.699, p=0.034), and presence of extrahepatic recurrence (B=0.971, p=0.007).

CONCLUSIONS: Ten-year survival outcomes after percutaneous radiofrequency ablation as a first-line therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma were excellent despite frequent tumor recurrences. Overall survival was influenced by age, Child-Pugh class, antiviral therapy, or extrahepatic recurrence.

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