Combined Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization and Radiofrequency Ablation in Single-Session for Solitary Hepatocellular Carcinoma Larger Than 7 Cm

Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2018 Aug;14(4):300-309. doi: 10.1111/ajco.12817. Epub 2017 Nov 10.


Aims: To evaluate technical feasibility and treatment results of combined transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in single-session for solitary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) larger than 7 cm in diameter.

Methods: Institutional review board approved this retrospective study. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients. Between June 2007 and July 2013, 87 patients (75 men, 12 women; mean age, 55.5 years ± 15.0) with solitary HCC with a mean maximum diameter of 9.5 cm ± 2.4 (range, 7.1-13.5 cm) not feasible for surgical resection underwent combined TACE and RFA in a single-session. Immediately following TACE, RFA was performed under fluoroscopy and CB-CT guidance. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). The secondary endpoints were technical safety and local tumor progression (LTP) rates. OS and time to progression (TTP) were analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify prognostic factors affecting OS and TTP.

Results: Technical success of combined TACE and RFA in a single-session was achieved in all patients (100%). On 1-month follow-up MRI, complete response (CR) was observed in 76 of 87 patients (87.4 %), partial response (PR) in 8 and stable disease (SD) in 3 patients. The median follow-up period was 49.5 months (interquartile range, 30.0-70.0 months). The median OS was 39 months (range, 15-86 months). The cumulative OS rates at 1, 3 and 5 years were 100%, 65.5% and 47.5%, respectively. The estimated 1, 3 and 5 year LTP rates were 0 %, 29.9% and 55.2 %, respectively. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed a tumor larger than 10.0 cm (P < 0.05) and presence of portal vein branch invasion (P < 0.05) led to the worst prognosis. No major complications were noted.

Conclusions: Combined use of TACE and RFA in single-session is a safe and effective option in the treatment of patients with solitary large HCC (> 7 cm) not amenable to surgery.

Keywords: combined treatment; hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); interventional oncology; radiofrequency ablation (RFA); transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE).

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portal Vein / pathology
  • Radiofrequency Ablation / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome