Metronomic S-1 chemotherapy plus transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE): a promising treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma refractory to TACE

J BUON. 2016 Jul-Aug;21(4):909-916.


Purpose: To assess the efficacy and safety of metronomic S-1 chemotherapy combination with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for the treatment of Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) Stage B hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) refractory to TACE.

Methods: Twenty six patients met the eligibility criteria and were enrolled. TACE was performed on day 1, and metronomic S-1 chemotherapy on days 2-15. Tumor assessment was performed one month later. The primary endpoints were time to progression (TTP) and adverse events (AE).

Results: Twenty six patients in total received 176 TACE interventions. There were 101 TACE interventions in 15 patients of metronomic S-1 chemotherapy plus TACE (TS) and 75 in 11 patients of TACE monotherapy (TM). Fifteen TS patients received a total of 55 cycles of treatment with S-1, with a median of 4 cycles (range 2-6). The total dose of S-1 was 6165 mg per day in 15 patients (average 120 mg, range 100-125). Median TTP and overall survival (OS) of TS group were 6 months (95% CI, 4.7-7.3) and 17 months (95% CI, 15.6-18.4), respectively, while for the TM group were 4 months (95% CI, 2.4-5.6) and 15 months (95% CI, 9.2-20.8), respectively. Though there were higher tumor response rate (RR) and disease control rates (DCRs) in patients with TS, no significant differences were detected. Both treatment approaches were tolerable with low grade AE.

Conclusions: In the present study, metronomic S-1 chemotherapy plus TACE in the present study was tolerable and associated with a better but not statistically significant TTP, RR and OS. It showed that metronomic S-1 chemotherapy plus TACE may be a promising treatment of BCLC Stage B HCC refractory to TACE.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Metronomic
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxonic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Tegafur / administration & dosage*


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Drug Combinations
  • S 1 (combination)
  • Tegafur
  • Oxonic Acid