Source From the department of Interventional Ultrasound, Chinese PLA General Hospital , 28 Fuxing Road, Beijing , 100853, P.R. China.
Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of microwave ablation combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for unresectable large-sized hepotocellular carcinoma.
Materials and methods: Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained. Between May 2004 and December 2006, 34 consecutive patients with large unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (>5 cm) were alternately enrolled in one of two treatment groups: group 1 (n = 18), in which TACE was performed alone, and group 2 (n = 16), in which percutaneous ablation of HCC with microwave ablation was performed 2-4 weeks after TACE. All patients were followed up for 2-28 months to observe long-term therapeutic effects and complications in both groups. Tumor reduction rates, median survival time, and cumulative survival rates in both groups were calculated by using the unpaired Student t test and Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Follow-up images showed reduction in tumor size was seen in 21 patients (61.7%; 7/18 in group 1, 14/16 in group 2), survival rates were better in group 2 than in group 1 (P = 0.003), during the median follow-up of 8 months, 10 patients (62.5%) remained alive in group 2, whereas 6 patients (33.3%) remained alive in group 1, the mean survival times were 6.13 months ± 0.83 in group 1 and 11.61 months ± 1.59 in group 2.
Conclusion: MWA combined with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization appears to be an effective and promising approach for the treatment of large-sized unresectable hepotocellular carcinoma. However, large-scale randomized clinical trials are needed to determine the future role of this treatment.