To compare effectiveness of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) combined with microwave ablation (MWA; TACE–MWA) with TACE alone for treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumors ≤5 cm.We reviewed data of 244 patients treated for HCC by TACE–MWA or TACE from June 2014 to December 2015. Median follow-up period was 505 days (TACE–MWA group: 485 days; TACE group: 542 days). Patients were propensity score matched (1:2 ratio); outcomes of TACE–MWA and TACE groups were compared. Primary endpoints were tumor responses, including tumor necrosis rates after initial treatment, tumor responses at 6 months [per modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (mRECIST)], and time to tumor progression (TTP). Secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS) and re-intervention times.After initial treatments, tumor necrosis rates were higher in the TACE–MWA group (n = 48; 92.1% [58/63]) than the TACE group (n = 96; 46.3% [56/121]; P < 0.001). At 6 months’ follow-up, the TACE–MWA group had better tumor responses (CR + PR + SD [per mRECIST]: TACE–MWA, 95.8%; TACE, 64.5%; P < 0.001). The TACE–MWA group had better TTP (P < 0.001), but did not significantly differ in OS (P = 0.317). TACE–MWA decreased re-TACE times from 1.90 to 0.52; and re-MWA times from 0.22 to 0.17. In subgroup analysis, TACE–MWA also showed better TTP in patients with tumors ≤3 cm (P < 0.001) and 3–5 cm (P = 0.004).Compared with TACE, TACE–MWA leads to better responses for HCC tumors ≤5 cm.
Patients with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are often ineligible for resection or local ablation therapy due to poor liver function and/or difficult location. The aim of this study is to evaluate therapeutic outcomes of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) combined with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) compared with TACE alone for HCC measuring less than 5 cm. From March 2011 to December 2016, 85 patients underwent SBRT with TACE (SBRT-TACE group) and 114 underwent TACE (TACE group) at 4 tertiary hospitals. Local control rate (LCR), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared after propensity-score matching (1:1 ratio). The SBRT-TACE group showed significantly higher 1- and 3-year LCR than the TACE group (91.1% and 89.9%, respectively vs 69.9% and 44.8%, respectively; P< 0.001). The SBRT-TACE group showed better 1- and 3-year PFS than the TACE group (56.5% and 32.3%, respectively vs 42.2% and 21.6%, respectively; P= 0.022). However, 1-, 3- and 5-year OS was not different between the SBRT-TACE and TACE groups (98.8%, 89.1% and 80.7%, respectively vs 99.7%, 83.3% and 71.0%, respectively; P= 0.206). In multivariate analysis, the overall SBRT added to TACE did not contribute to extend PFS. However, in patients with less than 2 tumors, the combined therapy was effective (HR 0.590, 95% CI 0.392-0.889, P= 0.012). SBRT-TACE is superior to TACE in terms of LCR. Particularly, SBRT-TACE may be an effective alternative in patients with HCC number (<= 2), which is not indicated for resection or local ablation.
Background: The prognosis of massive hepatocellular carcinomas (MHCCs; >= 10 cm) remains worse. Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical benefits of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) or TACE combined with percutaneous microwave coagulation therapy (PMCT) and the long-term survival rate of MHCC patients treated with these techniques. Patients and methods: A retrospective study was performed using data involving 102 MHCC patients admitted to the Second Hospital of Nanjing from September 2010 to August 2015. The median interval between treatments and overall survival (OS) was hierarchically analyzed using log-rank tests. Multivariate analysis was done using Cox regression model analysis. Results: The median survival time of MHCC patients was 3 months (range, 1-10 months) in the palliative group, 3 months (range, 1-39 months) in the TACE group, and 7.5 months (range, 3-30 months) in the TACE-PMCT group (P=0.038). The 6-, 12-, and 18-month OS rates for MHCC patients were 15%, 0%, and 0% in the palliative group, 30%, 25.63%, and 17.97% in the TACE group, and 50%, 41.67%, and 16.67% in the TACE-PMCT group, respectively (P=0.0467). In addition, TACE sessions had positive correlation with the survival time of MHCC patients (rho = 0.462, P<0.001). TACE treatment more than three times (HR = 0.145, P<0.001) was an independent predictor of the survival of MHCC patients, which was identified by the Cox regression model analysis. Conclusions: These results indicated that TACE-PMCT treatment in MHCC patients had advantages in prolonging OS and improving liver function. Multiple TACE treatments might be a suitable treatment for the MHCC patients.
To evaluate the performance of C-arm computed tomography (CT)–guided chemoembolization in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) level > 20 ng/mL but with no overt tumor on CT and/or magnetic resonance imaging. From May 2010 to May 2017, 34 patients with HCC (25 men and 9 women; mean age, 59.7 y) who had elevated serum AFP levels (> 20 ng/mL) but no overt tumor on 6-mo imaging studies and had shown complete response (CR) after previous chemoembolization underwent C-arm CT–guided conventional chemoembolization. Three radiologists retrospectively reviewed the imaging studies (preprocedural images, C-arm CT scans, and follow-up images) in consensus, and clinical data including AFP levels were retrospectively obtained. Tumor detection by C-arm CT and treatment response after chemoembolization were assessed. HCC was imaged at the time of chemoembolization in 24 of 34 patients (70.6%). C-arm CT detected tumors in 25 patients (73.5%); 23 detections were true positives, 2 were false positives, and 1 was a false negative (diaphragm metastasis). Among the 23 patients with true-positive results, the first follow-up enhanced imaging studies showed CR (n = 17), partial response (n = 1), progressive disease (n = 4), and indeterminate status (n = 1; treated by percutaneous ethanol injection). C-arm CT–guided chemoembolization may help to detect and treat recurrent tumors in patients who have shown CR after previous chemoembolization but subsequently, during follow-up surveillance, had serum AFP levels > 20 ng/mL without an overt tumor evident on imaging studies.
Curative therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), such as resection, liver transplantation, and percutaneous ablation, can be applied in selected patients with early tumors; this includes approximately 30%–40% of all cases. More advanced stages require local or systemic therapies. Data on the efficacy of these treatments are derived from small randomized controlled trials (RCT) and meta-analysis. Chemoembolization, a technique combining intra-arterial chemotherapy and selected ischemia, has produced modest survival advantages in 2 RCTs and a meta-analysis, and is currently the mainstay of treatment for these stages. The ideal candidates for this option are patients with well-preserved liver function (Child-Pugh class A) and multinodular asymptomatic tumors without vascular invasion, who constitute less than 15% of the HCC population. In these cases, the benefits derived by achieving objective responses (30%–50% of cases) are not offset by the deterioration of the liver function. Treatment-related mortality is less than 4%. No survival advantages have yet been shown with embolization or intra-arterial chemotherapy alone. Further RCTs are needed to assess the best chemotherapeutic agent and the ideal retreatment schedule. The analysis of efficacy in these trials should be adjusted for prognostic factors, such as the presence of symptoms, Child-Pugh class, and segmental vascular invasion.
Purpose: To determine the safety and efficacy of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) combined with sorafenib (hereafter, TACE-sorafenib) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT). Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board, and the requirement for informed consent was waived. The medical records of consecutive patients with HCC and PVTT who underwent TACE-sorafenib or TACE alone from January 2010 to December 2012 were retrospectively evaluated. Sorafenib (400 mg) was administered twice daily. Outcomes of patients who underwent TACE-sorafenib were compared with outcomes of patients who underwent TACE by using the Kaplan-Meier method according to types of PVTT: PVTT in the main portal vein (type A), PVTT in the first-order portal vein branch (type B), and PVTT in second-or lower-order portal vein branches (type C). Results: Ninety-one patients were included in the analysis; 46 patients underwent TACE-sorafenib and 45 underwent TACE. TACE-sorafenib showed significant survival benefits compared with TACE in patients with type B (median survival, 13 months vs 6 months; P = .002) or type C (median survival, 15 months vs 10 months; P = .003) PVTT. TACE-sorafenib and main PVTT were the independent prognostic factors for survival at uni- and multivariate analysis. Liver function after TACE-sorafenib worsened only in patients with main PVTT. Sorafenib-related adverse events of grade 3 or higher occurred in 16 patients (35%). Conclusion: TACE-sorafenib side effects were acceptable, and this treatment may improve overall survival in patients with HCC with first-order or lower-branch PVTT when compared with patients who underwent TACE alone.
BACKGROUND. The objective of this study was to determine the prognostic variables that influence response and survival in patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors who are treated with hepatic arterial embolization (HAE) or chemo-embolization (HACE). METHODS. Patients with metastatic neurcendocrine tumors who underwent HAE or HACE were included in this retrospective study. Follow-up imaging studies were compared with baseline imaging to determine the radiologic response. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the prognostic variables that affected response and survival. RESULTS. The study included 69 patients with carcinoid tumors and 54 patients with pancreatic islet cell carcinomas. Patients who had carcinoid tumors had a higher response rate (66.7% vs. 35.2%; P = 0.0001) and had longer PFS (22.7 mos vs. 16.1 mos; P = 0.046) and OS (33.8 mos vs. 23.2 mos; P = 0.012) compared with patients who had islet cell carcinomas. For patients with carcinoid tumors, multivariate analysis identified male gender as the only independent risk factor for poor survival (P = 0.05). Octreotide was predictive marginally for PFS (P = 0.06). Patients who were treated with HAE had a higher response rate than patients who were treated with HACE (P = 0.004). For patients with islet cell carcinoma, an intact primary tumor, >= 75% liver involvement, and extrahepatic metastases were associated with reduced OS in the univariate analysis; the presence of bone metastases was the only risk factor (P = 0.031) in the multivariate analysis. Patients who were treated with HACE had a prolonged OS (31.5 mos vs. 18.2 mos) and improved response (50% vs. 25%) compared with patients who were treated with HAE, although the differences did not reach statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS. Patients with carcinoid tumors had better outcomes than patients with islet cell carcinomas. The addition of intraarterial chemotherapy to HAE did not improve the outcome of patients with carcinoid tumors, but it seemed to benefit patients with islet cell carcinomas. In patients who had carcinoid tumors, male gender predicted a poor outcome, and a trend toward prolonged PFS was observed in patients who received concomitant octreotide. An intact primary tumor, extensive liver disease, and bone metastases were associated with reduced survival in patients with islet cell carcinomas.
Background and Aim: To evaluate the clinical benefits of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) monotherapy or TACE combined with percutaneous microwave coagulation therapy (PMCT) and the long-term survival rate of patients with large primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with these techniques. Methods: This is a retrospective study involving 136 patients with unresectable large HCC (189 tumor nodules, >= 5.0 cm in diameter) admitted to Sun Yat-Sen University Memorial Hospital (Guangzhou, China) between January 2004 and December 2011. The median follow-up time was 41 months (range, 6-96 months). Of these patients, 80 patients received TACE monotherapy and 56 patients received TACE combined with PMCT. The median interval between treatments and overall survival (OS) were hierarchically analyzed using log-rank tests. Results: All patients successfully underwent TACE alone or TACE with PMCT with no serious complications. The median survival time was 13 months (range, 3-84 months) for the TACE group and 25 months (range, 7-96 months) for the TACE-PMCT group. The 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year OS rates were 62.5%, 17.5%, and 5.0% in the TACE group, respectively. In contrast, in the TACE-PMCT group, the 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year OS rates were 87.5%, 50.0%, and 10.0%, respectively. This difference was statistically significant between the groups (P < 0.001). Conclusions: TACE combined with PMCT had advantages in prolonging OS with satisfying time to progression and improving liver function in patients with large unresectable HCC. The results suggest that further prospective studies are required to confirm the findings of this study.
Corona enhancement and mosaic architecture are 2 radiologic features of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, neither their prognostic values nor their impacts on the selection of liver resection (LR) versus transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) as treatment modalities have been established. We retrospectively analyzed 275 patients with a single HCC lesion >5 cm without extrahepatic metastasis treated with LR or TACE. In LR patients, the overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) were compared between corona enhancement negative (corona-) versus positive (corona+) and mosaic architecture negative (mosaic-) versus positive (mosaic+) patients. Furthermore, by the combination of corona and mosaic, LR patients were divided into negative for both corona and mosaic patterns (LR-/-), positive for only 1 feature (LR+/-), and positive for both (LR+/+); their OS and TTP were compared to those of the TACE group. Cox regression was performed to identify independent factors for OS. In the survival plots for LR, corona- had better OS and TTP than corona+, and mosaic- had better OS than mosaic+. There was no significant difference in TTP between the subgroups. On Cox regression analysis, corona enhancement, but not mosaic architecture, was a significant factor for OS, whereas neither were a significant factor for TTP. In TACE patients, neither corona nor mosaic patterns had significant correlations with OS or TTP. In the whole population, LR-/ and LR+/- subgroups had similar OS, which was better than the LR+/+ and TACE groups. Moreover, LR-/- and LR+/- patients had better TTP than TACE patients, but there were no differences between the LR-/- versus LR+/-, LR-/ versus LR+/+, LR+/- versus LR+/+, and LR+/+ versus TACE groups. On Cox regression analysis, the presence of corona/mosaic patterns was an independent prognostic factor for OS. Our results showed that, for patients with a single HCC >5 cm without extrahepatic metastasis, corona and mosaic patterns are indicators of limited LR efficacy. When both of the features are present, TACE can be used instead of LR with no negative influence on survival.
This prospective study was to investigate the value of [11C]-acetate PET and [18F]-FDG PET in the evaluation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) before and after treatment with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibody (bevacizumab).Twenty-two patients (three women, 19 men; 62 ± 8 years) with HCC verified by histopathology were treated with TACE and bevacizumab (n = 11) or placebo (n = 11). [11C]-acetate PET and [18F]-FDG PET were performed before and after TACE with bevacizumab or placebo. Comparisons between groups were performed with t-tests and Chi-squared tests, where appropriate. Overall survival (OS) was defined as the time from start of bevacizumab or placebo until the date of death/last follow-up, respectively.The patient-related sensitivity of [11C]-acetate PET, [18F]-FDG PET, and combined [11C]-acetate and [18F]-FDG PET was 68%, 45%, and 73%, respectively. There was a significantly higher rate of conversion from [11C]-acetate positive lesions to negative lesions in patients treated with TACE and bevacizumab as compared with that in patients with TACE and placebo (p < 0.05). In patients with negative acetate PET, the mean OS in patients treated with TACE and bevacizumab was 259 ± 118 days and was markedly shorter as compared with that (668 ± 217 days) in patients treated with TACE and placebo (p < 0.05). In patients treated with TACE and placebo, there was significant difference in mean OS in patients with positive FDG PET as compared with that in patients with negative FDG PET (p < 0.05). The HCC lesions had different tracer avidities showing the heterogeneity of HCC.Our study suggests that combining [18F]-FDG with [11C]-acetate PET could be useful for the management of HCC patients and might also provide relevant prognostic and molecular heterogeneity information.