Combined transarterial embolization/ chemoembolization-based locoregional treatment with sorafenib prolongs the survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma and preserved liver function: A propensity score matching study

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Abstract

Background: Sorafenib is the standard treatment for patients with Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage C hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the treatment outcome is not satisfactory. We retrospectively analyzed whether adding transarterial embolization/chemoembolization (TA(C)E)-based locoregional therapy to sorafenib can further improve treatment efficacy. Patients and Methods: We included 147 BCLC stage C HCC patients with Child-Tur-cotte-Pugh class A liver function and treated with sorafenib for analysis. Through propensity score matching, we divided patients into the combined treatment group (n = 63; patients received TA(C)E-based locoregional treatment and sorafenib) and the sorafenib monotherapy group (n = 63). We analyzed the effects of patients' clinical and tumor-related factors on their overall survival (OS) and time to tumor progression. Results: The OS was better in the combined treatment group than in the sorafenib monotherapy group (419 vs. 223 days, p = 0.028). In the Cox regression model, combined treatment, a lower baseline α-fetoprotein (AFP) level <400 ng/mL, tumors without main portal venous tumorous thrombosis, and age ≥60 years were identified as independent factors for OS. Subgroup analysis demonstrated that patients with a higher baseline AFP level >400 ng/mL, age <60 years, tumors with branched portal venous tumorous thrombosis only or without extrahepatic metastasis benefited the most from combined treatment. Conclusion: Combining TA(C)E-based locoregional treatment with sorafenib resulted in better OS in patients with BCLC stage C HCC compared with sorafenib alone. TA(C)E-based locoregional treatment can be an adjunctive treatment to sorafenib for patients with advanced HCC and a satisfactory liver functional reserve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-202
Number of pages17
JournalLiver Cancer
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Oncology

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