Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 42, Issue 10, pp 845–853 | Cite as

Pretreatment predictor of response, time to progression, and survival to intraarterial 5-fluorouracil/interferon combination therapy in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Kiminori Uka
  • Hiroshi Aikata
  • Shintaro Takaki
  • Daiki Miki
  • Tomokazu Kawaoka
  • Soo Cheol Jeong
  • Shoichi Takahashi
  • Naoyuki Toyota
  • Katsuhide Ito
  • Kazuaki Chayama
Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary Tract



Several studies have reported survival benefits of combination therapy with intraarterial 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and subcutaneous interferon (IFN) α for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT). We investigated the pretreatment predictive factors of early response, time to progression (TTP), and survival in response to intraarterial 5-FU/IFN combination therapy.


Patients with nonresectable HCC and variable PVTT grades (without PVTT to PVTT in the trunk) received intraarterial 5-FU/IFN combination therapy (n = 55).


After two courses of the combination therapy, 1 (2%), 15 (27%), 16 (29%), 12 (22%), and 11 (20%) of 55 patients showed complete response (CR), partial response (PR), stable disease (SD), progressive disease (PD), or had dropped out (DO), respectively, when their early response to treatment was assessed. Univariate analysis identified only hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody positivity as having significantly influenced the early response (P = 0.028) and TTP (P = 0.021). Multivariate analysis identified performance status (P = 0.003) and HCV antibody positivity (P = 0.007) as significant and independent determinants of survival. PVTT grade did not influence early response, TTP, or survival. The survival rate was significantly higher in patients who achieved CR or PR than in those that assessed as SD or PD, or DO (P < 0.0001, each).


HCV antibody positivity may be a significant pretreatment predictor of early response, TTP, and survival of patients with advanced HCC treated with 5-FU/IFN. CR or PR as the early response to the combination therapy might indicate a more favorable prognosis in patients with advanced HCC. PVTT grade did not seem to influence the efficacy of combination therapy.

Key words

advanced hepatocellular carcinoma 5-fluorouracil and interferon early response survival HCV 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiminori Uka
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Aikata
    • 1
  • Shintaro Takaki
    • 1
  • Daiki Miki
    • 1
  • Tomokazu Kawaoka
    • 1
  • Soo Cheol Jeong
    • 1
  • Shoichi Takahashi
    • 1
  • Naoyuki Toyota
    • 2
  • Katsuhide Ito
    • 2
  • Kazuaki Chayama
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and Molecular Science, Division of Frontier Medical SciencePrograms for Biomedical Research, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyHiroshima University HospitalHiroshimaJapan

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