Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1825–1833 | Cite as

Surgical Resection Versus Transarterial Chemoembolization for Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Portal Vein Tumor Thrombosis: A Propensity Score Analysis

  • Po-Hong Liu
  • Yun-Hsuan Lee
  • Cheng-Yuan Hsia
  • Chia-Yang Hsu
  • Yi-Hsiang Huang
  • Yi-You Chiou
  • Han-Chieh Lin
  • Teh-Ia HuoEmail author
Hepatobiliary Tumors



The long-term survival in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT) who received surgical resection (SR) or transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) remains unclear. We compared the efficacy of SR and TACE by using a propensity score analysis.


A total of 247 and 181 HCC patients with PVTT undergoing SR and TACE, respectively, were evaluated. One hundred eight pairs of matched patients were selected from each treatment arm by using a propensity score analysis.


Of all patients, the estimated 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of patients receiving SR and TACE were 85 versus 60 %, 68 versus 42 %, and 61 versus 33 %, respectively (p < 0.001). Patients selected for SR were significantly younger and had better liver functional reserve, performance status, and smaller tumor burden. In the propensity model, the survival benefit of SR remained significant. The estimated 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of patients receiving SR and TACE were 84 versus 71 %, 69 versus 50 %, and 59 versus 35 %, respectively (p = 0.004). The two groups of patients in the propensity score analysis were similar in baseline characteristics. In the Cox proportional hazards model, patients receiving TACE had a 2.044-fold increased risk of mortality compared with patients receiving SR (95 % confidence interval: 1.284–3.252, p = 0.003).


For either unselected patients or patients in the propensity model, SR provides significantly better long-term survival than TACE. SR should be considered as a priority treatment in this subgroup of HCC patients.


Propensity Score Tace Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer Propensity Score Analysis Meld Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by Grants from the Center of Excellence for Cancer Research at Taipei Veterans General Hospital (DOH102-TD-C-111-007), Taiwan, from Taipei Veterans General Hospital (V102C-012), Taipei, Taiwan, and from the Ministry of Education, Aim for the Top University Plan (101AC-D101), Taiwan.


There are no conflicts of interest in all authors.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Po-Hong Liu
    • 1
    • 4
  • Yun-Hsuan Lee
    • 1
    • 4
  • Cheng-Yuan Hsia
    • 1
    • 5
  • Chia-Yang Hsu
    • 1
    • 4
    • 7
  • Yi-Hsiang Huang
    • 2
    • 4
  • Yi-You Chiou
    • 1
    • 6
  • Han-Chieh Lin
    • 1
    • 4
  • Teh-Ia Huo
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 8
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineNational Yang-Ming University School of MedicineTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Clinical MedicineNational Yang-Ming University School of MedicineTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute of PharmacologyNational Yang-Ming University School of MedicineTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of MedicineTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of RadiologyTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  7. 7.Department of BiostatisticsUCLALos AngelesUSA
  8. 8.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of MedicineTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan

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