, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 913-920
Date: 23 Apr 2011

The effectiveness of particle radiotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma associated with inferior vena cava tumor thrombus

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The prognosis of patients who have hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with inferior vena cava tumor thrombus (IVCTT) is very poor, and effective treatment modalities are extremely limited. The objective of this study was to determine the therapeutic efficacy of particle radiotherapy for HCC with IVCTT.


Between June 2001 and January 2009, 16 evaluable patients who had HCC with IVCTT were treated with particle radiotherapy. They were divided into 2 groups: 6 were treated with curative intent; 10 with palliative intent. The local tumor control rates, overall survival rates, and toxicities were evaluated.


All tumors treated with particle radiotherapy remained controlled without local recurrence at the last follow-up. The overall survival rates for the 16 patients at 1 and 3 years were 61.1 and 36.7%, respectively. We observed a significant difference in the survival rates according to treatment policy. The median survival time was 25.4 months for patients treated with curative intent and 7.7 months for those treated with palliative intent. The one-year survival rates were 100.0 and 33.3%, respectively. No Grade 3 or higher treatment-related toxicities were observed.


Particle radiotherapy is thought to be potentially effective and safe for HCC with IVCTT. Considering the current lack of effective and less-invasive local therapy for HCC with IVCTT, particle radiotherapy may therefore be an attractive new therapeutic approach for this type of HCC.