Background/aims: To investigate the predictive factors for complete response (CR) and recurrence after CR in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Methods: Among 691 newly diagnosed HCC patients, 287 were treated with TACE as a first therapy. We analyzed the predictive factors for CR, recurrence after CR, and overall survival (OS).
Results: Eighty-one patients (28.2%) achieved CR after TACE, and recurrence after CR was detected in 35 patients (43.2%). In multivariate analyses, tumor size (≤5 cm) and single nodularity were predictive factors for CR, with hazard ratios (HRs) of 0.35 (p=0.002) and 0.41 (p<0.001), respectively. Elevated serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) (>20 ng/mL) level and multinodularity exhibited significant relationships with recurrence after CR, with HRs of 2.220 (p=0.026) and 3.887 (p<0.001), respectively. Tumor size (>5 cm), multinodularity, elevated serum AFP (>20 ng/mL) level, Child-Turcotte-Pugh score (B and C), and portal vein thrombosis were significant factors for OS.
Conclusions: In patients treated with TACE as a first therapy, tumor size (≤5 cm) and single nodularity were predictive factors for CR, and multinodularity and elevated serum AFP (>20 ng/mL) levels were predictive factors for recurrence after CR. These factors were also significant for OS.
Keywords: Carcinoma; Chemoembolization; Complete response; Recurrence; hepatocellular; therapeutic.