Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery

, Volume 398, Issue 1, pp 55–62

Could radiofrequency ablation replace liver resection for small hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with compensated cirrhosis? A 5-year follow-up

  • Jacopo Desiderio
  • Stefano Trastulli
  • Rosario Pasquale
  • Davide Cavaliere
  • Roberto Cirocchi
  • Carlo Boselli
  • Giuseppe Noya
  • Amilcare Parisi
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00423-012-1029-2

Cite this article as:
Desiderio, J., Trastulli, S., Pasquale, R. et al. Langenbecks Arch Surg (2013) 398: 55. doi:10.1007/s00423-012-1029-2
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Abstract

Purpose

Treating hepatocellular carcinoma involves many different specialists and requires multidisciplinary management. In light of the current discussion on the role of ablative therapy, the aim of this study is to compare patients who undergo hepatic resection to those treated with radiofrequency ablation.

Methods

The procedures have been conducted in two institutes following the same methodologies. Ninety-six patients with Child–Pugh class A cirrhosis, single or multinodular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and a diameter less than or equal to 3 cm, have been included in this retrospective study: 52 patients have been treated by surgical resection and 44 by radiofrequency ablation. Patient characteristics, survival and disease-free survival have all been analysed.

Results

Disease-free survival was longer in the resection group in comparison to the radiofrequency group with a median disease-free time of 48 versus 34 months, respectively (P = 0.04, hazard ratio = 1.5, 95 % confidence interval = 0.9–2.5). In the resection group, median survival was 54 months with a survival rate at 1, 3 and 5 years of 100, 98 and 46.2 %. In the radiofrequency group, median survival was 40 months with 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rate of 95.5, 68.2 and 36.4 %.

Conclusion

The current study shows that for small HCC in the presence of compensated cirrhosis, surgical resection gives better results than radiofrequency, both in terms of overall survival, as well as disease-free survival. Further evidence is required to clarify the role of ablative therapy as a curative treatment and whether it can replace surgery.

Keywords

Hepatocellular carcinomaHCCLiver resectionRadiofrequency ablationRFA

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacopo Desiderio
    • 1
  • Stefano Trastulli
    • 1
  • Rosario Pasquale
    • 2
  • Davide Cavaliere
    • 3
  • Roberto Cirocchi
    • 5
  • Carlo Boselli
    • 4
  • Giuseppe Noya
    • 4
  • Amilcare Parisi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Digestive Surgery and Liver UnitUniversity of PerugiaTerniItaly
  2. 2.Department of Digestive Surgery and Liver UnitSt. Maria HospitalTerniItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Surgery and Advanced Oncologic TherapiesForlì HospitalForlìItaly
  4. 4.Department of General and Oncologic SurgeryUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  5. 5.Department of General and Oncologic SurgeryUniversity of PerugiaTerniItaly