Partial hepatectomy vs. transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for resectable multiple hepatocellular carcinoma beyond Milan Criteria: a RCT

J Hepatol. 2014 Jul;61(1):82-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.03.012. Epub 2014 Mar 17.


Background & aims: The aim of this randomized comparative trial (RCT) is to compare partial hepatectomy (PH) with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) to treat patients with resectable multiple hepatocellular carcinoma (RMHCC) outside of Milan Criteria.

Methods: This RCT was conducted on 173 patients with RMHCC outside of Milan Criteria (a solitary tumor up to 5 cm or multiple tumors up to 3 in number and up to 3 cm for each tumor) who were treated in our centre from November 2008 to September 2010. The patients were randomly assigned to the PH group or the TACE group. The primary outcome measure was overall survival (OS) from the date of treatment. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to assess the prognostic risk factors associated with OS.

Results: The 1-, 2-, and 3-year OS rates were 76.1%, 63.5%, and 51.5%, respectively, for the PH group compared with 51.8%, 34.8%, and 18.1%, respectively, for the TACE group (Log-rank test, χ(2)=24.246, p<0.001). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis revealed the type of treatment (hazard ratio, 0.434; 95% CI, 0.293 to 0.644, p<0.001), number of tumor (hazard ratio, 1.758; 95% CI, 1.213 to 2.548, p=0.003) and gender (hazard ratio, 0.451; 95% CI, 0.236 to 0.862, p=0.016) were significant independent risk factors associated with OS.

Conclusions: PH provided better OS for patients with RMHCC outside of Milan Criteria than conventional TACE. The number of tumor and gender were also independent risk factors associated with OS for RMHCC.

Keywords: Multiple hepatocellular carcinoma; Overall survival; Partial hepatectomy; RCT; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / surgery*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome