Gerda Elisabeth Villadsen

Combination of radiofrequency ablation with transarterial chemoembolization for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: experience from a Danish tertiary liver center

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BACKGROUND: Recent studies have shown that the combination of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may offer a survival advantage compared to monotherapy.

PURPOSE: To study the effectiveness of combination therapy with RFA and TACE compared to that of TACE alone in a Scandinavian tertiary liver cancer center.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A retrospective study of the patients treated with combination therapy vis-à-vis TACE alone from June 2007 to November 2012 was performed. Eighteen patients were treated with a combination of RFA and TACE with an interval of 1-4 days between the treatments. For comparison, a group of 18 patients treated with TACE as monotherapy in the same time period was matched with the combination group by demographic data, tumor characteristics, biochemical and clinical parameters, and performance status (PS).

RESULTS: Each group consisted of 14 patients with cirrhosis and four without. There were no significant differences between the groups regarding age, gender, tumor characteristics, causes of cirrhosis, levels of bilirubin, creatinine, prothrombin time, Child Pugh score, or World Health Organization (WHO) performance status. The median survival of patients in the RFA + TACE combination group was 586 days compared to 296 days in the control group. The difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.26). However, when we stratified the data for cirrhosis and WHO performance status, patients in the combination group had significantly better survival (P = 0.024).

CONCLUSION: Combination therapy with RFA and TACE for unresectable HCC, compared to TACE alone, may offer a survival benefit for a selected group of patients with HCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Radiologica
Pages (from-to)844-51
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2015

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