Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China †State Key Laboratory for Liver Research, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
To evaluate our preliminary experience of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for the treatment of recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
HIFU is a new thermal ablative therapy for HCC. Whether it incurs survival benefit similar to that of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) remains uncertain.
Clinicopathological data of 27 patients who received HIFU ablation and 76 patients who received RFA for recurrent HCC from October 2006 to October 2009 were reviewed. Survival outcomes between the 2 groups were compared using the log-rank test. A value of P < 0.05 was considered significant.
The median follow-up was 27.9 months. There was no difference in tumor size (HIFU, 1.7 cm; RFA, 1.8 cm; P = 0.28) between the 2 groups. Procedure-related morbidity rate was 7.4% in the HIFU group and 6.5% in the RFA group (P = 1.00). Skin burn and pleural effusion were the 2 morbidities associated with HIFU. There was no hospital mortality in the HIFU group, whereas 2 deaths occurred in the RFA group. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year disease-free survival rates were 37.0%, 25.9%, and 18.5%, respectively, for the HIFU group, and 48.6%, 32.1%, and 26.5%, respectively for the RFA group (P = 0.61). The 1-, 2-, and 3-year overall survival rates were 96.3%, 81.5%, and 69.8%, respectively, for the HIFU group, and 92.1%, 76.1%, and 64.2%, respectively, for the RFA group (P = 0.19).
Our preliminary experience in using HIFU for recurrent HCC is promising. Further studies are needed to explore its treatment value for primary HCC.