Efficacy and safety of transarterial chemoembolization combined to conformal radiotherapy for uninodular hepatocellular carcinoma

Philippe Merle, Agnes Rode, Redouane Benlaredj, Marie Cuinet, Tammam Said, Fulgence Bathaix, Ciprian Enachescu, Francoise Mornex


Purpose: A proportion of patients with uninodular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cannot benefit from potential curative therapies such as liver transplantation, surgical resection or radiofrequency ablation. Thus, they are prone to receive transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) that is a palliative option with low probability of both complete response and prolonged local control. Herein, we assessed the combination of TACE and 3D-high dose conformal radiotherapy (3D-HDCRT) for efficacy and safety in HCC.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the outcome of 35 consecutive patients with uninodular HCC ≤ 100 mm, treated by one course of TACE combined to 3D-HDCRT. The follow-up consisted on clinics, biology, hepatic CT-scan or MRI at month-1 and -3, and thereafter every 3 months.

Results: Complete response was obtained in 80% of patients following mRECIST criteria (95% in HCC ≤ 50 mm, and 60% in HCC > 50 mm) with uncommon local recurrence (11%), overall survival rates of 79%, 59% and 44% at respectively 1, 2 and 3 years (median, 37.3 months), and 11.4% grade-3/4 toxicities. Pre-therapeutic α-fetoprotein level ≥ 200 ng/mL was found as a strong predictor of poorer outcome.

Conclusion: We showed that TACE combined to 3D-HDCRT can be highly efficient to reach local control and interesting overall survival rates for uninodular HCC, with limited severe toxicities for Child-Pugh A patients. Subsequent prospective controlled trials are warranted for comparison with therapeutic standards.


Hepatocellular carcinoma; Conformal Radiotherapy; Chemoembolization

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14319/ijcto.0204.10

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