Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: Is the addition of subcutaneous interferon-alpha-2b beneficial?

Hepatol Res. 2009 Mar;39(3):223-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2008.00458.x. Epub 2008 Nov 5.


Aim: We previously reported the benefits of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) using cisplatin (CDDP), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) [low-dose FP], and leucovorin/isovorin for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we investigated the efficacy of combination therapy with HAIC and subcutaneous interferon (IFN)- alpha-2b in patients with advanced HCC.

Methods: Of the 48 patients, 31 received low-dose FP with leucovorin/isovorin (HAIC group) and 17 received combination therapy comprising low-dose FP with isovorin and subcutaneous IFN-alpha-2b (combination group). Prognostic factors were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses of the patient and the disease characteristics.

Results: There were no significant differences in the response rate (patients with complete or partial response/all patients; P = 0.736) and survival (P = 0.399) between both groups. Univariate analysis revealed that IFN therapy was not a significant prognostic factor. Multivariate analysis showed 3 variables, namely, Child-Pugh score (P = 0.010), alpha-fetoprotein level (P = 0.0047), and additional therapy (P = 0.002), to be significant prognostic factors.

Conclusions: We considered that combination therapy with HAIC and subcutaneous interferon (IFN)-alpha-2b was not beneficial for advanced HCC.