Department of Interventional Radiology, Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, China.
Aim: Hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC) with pulmonary metastasis is considered incurable. This study addresses the efficacy of the combination of systemic therapy using sorafenib and local treatment using transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for intrahepatic and bronchial transarterial chemoinfusion (TAI) for pulmonary lesions for this condition.
Methods: In all, 52 HCC patients with pulmonary metastasis were treated with sorafenib and TACE/TAI for intrahepatic and intrapulmonary lesions. Response to treatment, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and treatment-induced adverse effects were analyzed.
Results: With a median follow-up time of 11.4 months, radiologically confirmed complete response (CR), partial response (PR), stable disease and disease progression for intrahepatic disease were observed in 0, 22, 23 and seven patients, respectively; radiologically confirmed CR, PR, stable disease and disease progression observed for intrapulmonary lesions were in 1, 8, 25 and 18 patients, respectively. Median OS and PFS was 12.0 and 10.0 months, respectively. Median OS of patients who achieved response (i.e., CR + PR + stable disease) in their gross lesion(s) was 14.0 and 13.0 months, respectively, as compared to 4.0 and 3.0 months for patients who progressed (P < 0.003). Significant prognosticators for OS and PFS included performance status, Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage and response to treatment. The combined treatment strategy was well tolerated.
Conclusion: The combination of sorafenib, TACE and TAI produced median OS and PFS of 12 and 10 months, respectively, in HCC patients with lung metastasis. The outcomes of patients who achieved a response to their gross lesions were significantly better than those who had disease progression. Further investigation is warranted to test the efficacy of this treatment combination.