Aim: To identify factors affecting early local recurrence after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and investigate treatments and outcomes for local recurrence.
Methods: Early local recurrence and no early local recurrence groups drawn from 134 patients who were initially diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and showed a complete response (CR) to TACE treatment between January 1, 2006, and January 31, 2012, were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Additionally, the subsequent treatment for patients with recurrence was analyzed, and in cases in which TACE had been performed, the cumulative recurrence rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with those of the primary lesion.
Results: The 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates were 92.3%, 60.2%, and 39.8%, respectively, in the early local recurrence group, which were significantly lower than those in both the late local and no local recurrence groups (P < 0.001). On multivariate analyses, non-compact lipiodol uptake, large tumor size, and an alpha-fetoprotein > 20 ng/mL after achieving a CR were significant predictors. When TACE was performed for early and late locally recurrent lesions, a CR was observed in 15 patients (41.7%) and 11 patients (78.6%), and the cumulative recurrence rates at 6, 12, and 24 mo were 17.9%, 43.3%, and 71.2%, respectively, which did not differ significantly from those after the first CR of 20.5%, 44.0%, and 58.6%, respectively (P = 0.639).
Conclusion: Closer monitoring and active treatments must be provided to patients with risk factors for early local recurrence of HCC.
Keywords: Chemoembolization; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Lipiodol; Recurrence; Survival.