Medium-Sized (3.1–5.0 cm) Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Transarterial Chemoembolization Plus Radiofrequency Ablation Versus Radiofrequency Ablation Alone
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This study was designed to retrospectively compare the effectiveness of combined transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) plus radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with that of RFA alone in patients with medium-sized (3.1–5.0 cm) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
From March 2000 to April 2010, 57 patients, each with a single medium-sized HCC, were treated with combined TACE and RFA, and 66 were treated with RFA alone.
During follow-up (mean, 42.5 ± 33.2 months; range, 2.6–126.2 months), local tumor progression was observed in 40% of treated lesions in the combined treatment group and in 70% in the RFA-alone group. The 1-, 3-, 5-, and 7-year local tumor progression rates were significantly lower in the TACE + RFA group (9%, 40%, 55%, and 66%, respectively) than in the RFA-alone group (45%, 76%, 86%, and 89%, respectively; P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that treatment allocation (odds ratio [OR], 1.78; P = 0.016) and Child-Pugh class (OR, 1.96; P = 0.008) were significant independent factors associated with patient survival. The rates of major complications were 0% for the combined treatment group and 3% for the RFA-alone group.
The combination of TACE and RFA is safe and provides better local tumor control than RFA alone for the treatment of patients with medium-sized HCC. Our multivariate analysis showed that RFA-alone treatment and Child-Pugh class B were poor independent factors for determining the patient survival period.