EASL and mRECIST responses are independent prognostic factors for survival in hepatocellular cancer patients treated with transarterial embolization

J Hepatol. 2011 Dec;55(6):1309-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 Apr 15.


Background & aims: Standard RECIST criteria may not be the optimal method to assess response to loco-regional therapy for hepatocellular cancer (HCC). EASL and mRECIST, which measure changes in arterialized tumor, have been proposed. Here we compare the three criteria and their associations with survival.

Methods: Response was determined using RECIST 1.1, EASL, and mRECIST criteria in 83 consecutive patients with HCC undergoing palliative therapy with transarterial (chemo) embolization. Results were compared at the first assessment after therapy. Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were used to explore differences in overall survival between the responders and non-responders defined by each method.

Results: There was a good correlation between EASL and mRECIST with overall response rates; 58% and 57%, and target lesion responses; 74% and 73%, respectively. There was a poor correlation with RECIST 1.1 with overall and target response rates of 7%. Overall and target lesion progression rates were similar for all three assessments; 27% and 2% for both EASL and mRECIST and 28% and 6% for RECIST 1.1. There was a significant association between survival and overall EASL and mRECIST responses, which was retained in multivariate analysis. EASL response was associated with a 44% risk reduction and mRECIST with a 42% reduction. There was no significant association between survival for RECIST 1.1 responses or target EASL and mRECIST responses.

Conclusions: When measured at a single, early time point post-therapy, EASL and mRECIST overall response rates are associated with survival and should be used in preference to RECIST 1.1 or target responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome