Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancer-related causes of death worldwide and there is a clear need for further treatment options. In this study, we assessed the efficacy of a combination of lentinan (a fungal extract), transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation (TACE) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in HCC patients.
Methods: Seventy-eight patients with HCC confirmed by pathology and iconographical checks were used in this study. A total of 136 tumours with a mean diameter of 6.5 cm were detected (standard deviation [SD]+/-0.7). Subjects were divided into four groups, receiving either TACE only, RFA only, RFA and TACE, or the combination group - receiving lentinan, RFA and TACE.
Results: The tumour necrosis was significantly higher in the combination group (88.6%), compared to the TACE group (37.5%), the RFA group (47.8%) and the TACE/RFA group (60.3%; P<0.05). The tumour recurrence rate was significantly lower in the combination group (17.8%), compared to the TACE group (45.8%), the RFA group (34.7%) and the TACE/RFA group (29.0%; P<0.05). Finally, mean survival duration was significantly higher in the combination group (28.2 months; P<0.05).
Conclusion: Combination therapy involving lentinan, RFA and TACE was beneficial in terms of increasing mean survival duration, tumour necrosis and reducing the recurrence rate. Lentinan may therefore be of benefit to HCC patients.