Gamma knife radiosurgery versus transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein tumor thrombus: a propensity score matching study

Hepatol Int. 2022 Jun 21. doi: 10.1007/s12072-022-10339-2. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: The optimal locoregional treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT) is unclear. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKR) versus transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) in HCC patients with PVTT.

Methods: This retrospective study included 544 HCC patients with PVTT (GKR, 202; TACE, 342). Propensity score matching (PSM) analysis identified 171 matched pairs of patients. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS).

Results: Before PSM, the GKR group exhibited longer median OS (mOS) than the TACE group (17.2 vs. 8.0 months, p < 0.001). We followed the Cheng's classification for PVTT. In the subgroup analysis, GKR was associated with significantly longer mOS for patients with PVTT II-IV (17.5 vs. 8.7 months, p < 0.001; 17.2 vs. 7.8 months, p = 0.001; 14.5 vs. 6.5 months, p = 0.001, respectively) and comparable OS for patients with PVTT I. After PSM, the GKR group had also a longer mOS than the TACE group (15.8 vs. 10.4 months, p < 0.001). In the subgroup analysis, the GKR group demonstrated superior mOS for patients with PVTT II-IV (all p < 0.05) and comparable OS for patients with PVTT I.

Conclusions: GKR was associated better OS than TACE in HCC patients with PVTT, especially for patients with PVTT II-IV.

Clinical trials registration: The study was registered in the Chinese Clinical Trials Registry under the registration number ChiCTR2100051057.

Keywords: Advanced stage; Cheng’s classification; Gamma knife radiosurgery; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Overall survival; Portal vein tumor thrombus; Primary liver cancer; Propensity score matching; Radiotherapy; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.