Liver Cancer Institute, Shanghai, China.
To explore the effect of lipiodolized transarterial chemoembolization (lip-TACE) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients at different risk of recurrence after curative resection.
One thousand nine hundred and twenty-four consecutive HCC patients who underwent curative resection were retrospectively analyzed. Patients who underwent resection only were classified into control group, while those received adjuvant lip-TACE were classified into intervention group. Patients were further stratified into 4 groups, that is, tumor ≤5 cm with low or high risk factors, as well as tumor >5 cm with low or high risk factors for recurrence. Tumor number and microscopic tumor thrombus were defined as risk factors for recurrence. The effect of adjuvant lip-TACE on early (<2 year) or late (≥2 year) recurrence was evaluated.
There was no significant difference in recurrence curve between intervention group and control group in each stratum. Adjuvant lip-TACE showed an overall survival benefit in patients with tumor >5 cm and presenting high risk factors, mainly for those with time to recurrence (TTR) <2 years after operation. For them, the median survival was 17 months in the intervention group and 11 months in the control group (P = 0.010). For patients who were confirmed to be recurrence-free at 2 years after operation, it had the negative effect for survival (HR = 1.75, P = 0.004).
Adjuvant lip-TACE had no preventive effect on recurrence, but may be of benefit to detect early recurrence.