Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization combined with interferon-α is safe and effective for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after curative resection

Chao-Hui Zuo, Man Xia, Jing-Shi Liu, Xiao-Xin Qiu, Xiong Lei, Ruo-Cai Xu, Han-Chun Liu, Jian-Liang Li, Yong-Guo Li, Qing-Long Li, Hua Xiao, Yuan Hong, Xiao-Hong Wang, Hai-Zhen Zhu, Qun-Feng Wu, Michael Burns, Chen Liu
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP 2015, 16 (1): 245-51

OBJECTIVES: Intrahepatic recurrence is the major cause of death among patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)- related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after curative surgical resection. Several approaches have been reported to decrease the recurrence rate. The objective of our study was to compare the clinical effects of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) combined with interferon-alpha (IFN-α) therapy on recurrence after hepatic resection in patients with HBV-related HCC with that of TACE chemotherapy alone.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the data from 228 patients who were diagnosed with HBV-related HCC and underwent curative resection between January 2001 to December 2008. The patients were divided into TACE (n = 126) and TACE-IFN-α (n = 102) groups for postoperative chemotherapy. The TACE regimen consisted of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), cisplatin (DDP) , and the emulsion mixed with mitomycin C (MMC) and lipiodol. The recurrence rates, disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and risk of recurrence were evaluated.

RESULTS: The clinicopathological parameters and adverse effects were similar between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The median OS for the TACE- IFN-α group (36.3 months) was significantly longer than that of the TACE group (24.5 months, P < 0.05). The 3-and 5-year OS for the TACE-IFN-α group were significantly longer than those of the TACE group (P < 0.05) and the recurrence rate was significantly lower (P < 0.05). The TACE and IFN-α combination therapy, active hepatitis HBV infection, the number of tumor nodules, microvascular invasion, liver cirrhosis, and the BCLC stage were independent predictors of OS and DFS.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of the TACE and IFN-α combination chemotherapy after curative hepatic resection safely and effectively improves OS and decreases recurrence in patients with HBV-related HCC who are at high risk. Our findings can serve as a guide for the selection of postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with HBV-related HCC who are at high risk of recurrence.

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