Combined conventional transarterial chemoembolization with Mitomycin and percutaneous ablation for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma

Ricardo Yamada, Beatriz Bassaco, Stephen Bracewell, Samuel Volin, Heather Collins, Christopher Hannegan, Marcelo Guimarares


Background: Conventional transarterial chemoembolization (cTACE) has been the standard treatment for intermediate stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). For early stage HCC, percutaneous ablation is a curative option. There is growing evidence to support combined therapy to improve tumor response and overall survival (OS) in patients with unresectable HCC. The goal of this study is to retrospectively review a single institution patient population who underwent the combined approach to determine its efficacy and safety, and possible predictive factors for OS and tumor response.
Methods: Retrospective analysis identified all patients that underwent c-TACE with Mitomycin followed by percutaneous ablation from 2011 to 2016 at our institution. Efficacy was assessed by OS, time to progression (TTP), and tumor response according to mRECIST criteria. Initial imaging was obtained 1 month after each treatment and after complete response was achieved, every 3 months for 2 years. Percentage of Lipiodol uptake was determined at 30-day follow-up with contrasted abdominal CT. Safety was assessed using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v4.0. Multiple linear regressions were conducted to predict OS and number of progression-free survival days based on potential predictive factors.
Results: A total of 50 patients were identified. At 1-month follow-up, objective response (CR + PR) was achieved in 44 patients (88%). The median OS was 26.6 months and median TTP was 9.7 months (n=50). There was no statistically significant difference in median OS between patients with different lesion size (P=0.95), BCLC stage (P=0.84) or Lipiodol uptake (P=0.36). Higher albumin/bilirubin ratio was significantly correlated with improved OS (P=0.024).
Conclusions: Combined c-TACE and PTA is a safe and effective approach for patients with unresectable HCC. Elevated albumin/bilirubin ratio was a predictor for improved OS.

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