Source Department of Health Statistics, The Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China.
PURPOSE: Survival of patients with surgically unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is very poor due to the limited effective treatments available. Transhepatic arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and microsphere embolization may offer hope for such patients; however, to date, their efficacy has not been evaluated. This study was designed to compare the effectiveness of these two treatments for patients with unresectable HCC.
METHODS: This meta-analysis searched literature using various databases and revealed 13 studies on surgically unresectable HCC patients treated with TACE or microsphere embolization. Response rate, 1-year survival, overall survival, and time to progression were then analyzed and compared.
RESULTS: These thirteen studies included 597 and 1,233 patients with unresectable HCC for microsphere embolization and chemoembolization treatments, respectively. The data showed that microsphere embolization therapy was significantly better for longer overall survival, 1-year survival, longer time to progression, and complete or partial response rate than that of chemoembolization treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrated that microsphere embolization treatment of patients with surgically unresectable HCC provided much better survival and treatment response than that of TACE.