Article Abstract

Efficacy of bi-monthly hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors: Kei Moriya, Tadashi Namisaki, Shinya Sato, Akitoshi Douhara, Masanori Furukawa, Hideto Kawaratani, Kosuke Kaji, Mitsuteru Kitade, Naotaka Shimozato, Yasuhiko Sawada, Kenichiro Seki, Soichiro Saikawa, Hiroaki Takaya, Takemi Akahane, Akira Mitoro, Yasushi Okura, Junichi Yamao, Hitoshi Yoshiji


Background: Even though the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system is widely accepted, controversies on the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) still exist. We evaluated the efficacy of an approach with repeated hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) given at eight-week intervals for the treatment of advanced HCC.
Methods: Of the 66 compensated cirrhotic patients with advanced HCC refractory to transcatheter arterial chemo-embolization (TACE) enrolled in our study, 21 were treated by bi-monthly hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (B-HAIC) and the rest by sorafenib. The overall survival periods, curative responses, and adverse events in each group were retrospectively analyzed.
Results: The efficacy rate was significantly higher in the B-HAIC group (38%, 11%, P<0.05). The median survival time and the survival rate at 12 months in the B-HAIC group were 567 days and 70.8%, and those in the sorafenib group were 366 days and 47.6%, respectively. Thus, our data suggests that the B-HAIC treatment is not inferior to sorafenib for the treatment of advanced HCC in compensated cirrhotic patients. Furthermore, the occurrence of serious adverse events leading to discontinuation of treatment was less frequent in the B-HAIC group.
Conclusions: Given the hepatic function reserve preservation afforded by the B-HAIC treatment in our experience, we suggest that B-HAIC should be considered an alternative strategy for advanced HCC patients who do not respond to TACE.