Department of Surgery, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, 3 Lok Man Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong SAR, China. Electronic address: email@example.com.
To compare the results of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with hepatic resection in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within the Milan criteria.
A nonrandomized comparative study was performed with 111 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic RFA (n = 31) or curative hepatic resection (n = 80) for HCC within Milan criteria.
Procedure related complications were less often and severe after RFA than resection (3.2% vs. 25%). There was no significant difference in hospital mortality (0% vs. 3.8%). Hospital stay was significantly shorter in the RFA group than in the resection group (mean, 3.8 vs. 6.8 days). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year disease-free survival rates for the RFA group and the resection group were 76%, 40%, 40% and 76%, 60%, 60%, respectively. Disease-free survival was significantly lower in the RFA group than in the resection group. The corresponding 1-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates for the RFA group and the resection group were 100%, 92%, 84%, and 92%, 75%, 71%, respectively. The overall survival for RFA and resection were not significantly different.
Our result showed comparable overall survival between RFA and surgery, although RFA was associated with a significantly higher tumor recurrence rate. RFA had the advantages over surgical resection in being less invasive and having lower morbidity.