Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Xi'an Jiaotong University, 76 Yanta West Road, Xi'an, 710061, People's Republic of China, email@example.com.
Many non-surgical treatments of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have significantly improved in the last few decades and have shown survival benefits for selected patients with HCC. Today ablation can improve survival in individuals diagnosed in early HCC and even offer a curative treatment in selected candidates. Patients with intermediate-stage HCC benefit from transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). Drug-eluting bead transarterial chemoembolization (DEB-TACE) has shown a better combined ischemic and cytotoxic effect locally and less system toxicity when compared with conventional TACE. Those diagnosed at advanced stage benefit from sorafenib. In addition to TACE and sorafenib which could improve survival for selected patients, three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy treatment (3-DCRT), selection internal radiation therapy and systemic chemotherapy have also shown anti-tumor activity in the treatment of advanced HCC, but their survival benefit have not been proven. The limited effects of single therapy suggested that the combination would enhance the overall treatment effect. Other potential non-surgical therapies like gene therapy and immunotherapy are still in testing phases, except for some small-scale clinical trials which have been reported to show some beneficial effect. Here, we review the current non-surgical treatments in HCC and the new advances in this field.