Aims: To study the effect of preoperative transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) on long-term survival after hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we conducted a comparative analysis in 235 HCC patients who underwent hepatic resection with a curative intent.
Methods: We compared clinicopathologic background, mortality, and survival rates after hepatic resection between those who underwent preoperative TACE (n=109) and those who did not (n=126).
Results: One hundred and two patients in the TACE group (93.6%) received TACE only once. The mean interval between TACE and hepatic resection was 33.1days. Patients in the TACE group were younger than those in the non-TACE group, and liver cirrhosis and non-anatomical hepatic resection were more prevalent in this group. The 5-year overall survival rate after hepatic resection was significantly lower in the TACE group (28.6%) than in the non-TACE group (50.6%), especially in patients without cirrhosis or with stage I or II tumor. There was no difference between the two groups in mortality or disease-free survival after hepatic resection. Multivariate analysis showed preoperative TACE, preoperative aspartate aminotransferase elevation, and microscopic portal invasion to be independent risk factors for a poor outcome after hepatic resection.
Conclusions: Preoperative TACE should be avoided for patients with resectable HCC, especially for those without cirrhosis or with an early stage tumor.