JOURNAL ARTICLE

Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization combined with radiofrequency ablation delays tumor progression and prolongs overall survival in patients with intermediate (BCLC B) hepatocellular carcinoma

Xin Yin, Lan Zhang, Yan-Hong Wang, Bo-Heng Zhang, Yu-Hong Gan, Ning-Lin Ge, Yi Chen, Li-Xin Li, Zheng-Gang Ren
BMC Cancer 2014, 14: 849
25409554

BACKGROUND: This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of radiofrequency ablation in patients with intermediate (BCLC B) stage hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.

METHODS: Included in this study were 211 patients with intermediate stage HCC who underwent initial transcatheter arterial chemoembolization and were potentially amendable for radiofrequency ablation (single tumor with diameter 5-8 cm, median 6.0 cm; 2-5 multiple nodules with diameter less than 5 cm) between January 2005 and December 2011. According to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 55 patients were treated with following radiofrequency ablation, and the remaining 156 patients were treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone. The treatment effectiveness, local tumor control and survival outcome between the two groups were compared.

RESULTS: The complete tumor necrosis rate after treatment was 76.9% in combination group vs. 46.5% in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone group (P = 0.02). The major complication rate was 1.8% in combination group vs. 2.6% in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone group. Follow-up observation showed that the total tumor control rate was 74.5% in combination group versus 54.5% in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization alone group (P < 0.001). The 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates in combination group were significantly higher than those in TACE alone group (P = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Radiofrequency ablation following initial transcatheter arterial chemoembolization delays tumor progression and prolongs overall survival of patients with intermediate stage HCC tumors.

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