Background: Transcatheter arterial embolization is a major palliative treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, but the survival benefit of transcatheter arterial embolization is controversial. Aim: To evaluate the role of transcatheter arterial embolization in different stage of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma and to select patients who can get the best benefit from the treatment. Methods: From 1991 to 1995, 476 patients who had unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma from four medical centres in Taiwan were enrolled. Among them, 425 underwent transcatheter arterial embolization, and 51 received supportive treatment alone. The survivals between the two groups were compared. Results: Among the 476 patients, transcatheter arterial embolization can significantly prolong survival. The 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival rates for patients who underwent transcatheter arterial embolization were 60.2%, 39.3%, and 11.5%; and the rates for patients who underwent supportive treatment were 37.3%, 17.6%, and 2%, respectively (P = 0.0002). The survival benefit of transcatheter arterial embolization was observed in patients between Cancer and the Liver Italian Program 0 and Cancer and the Liver Italian Program 4. In multivariate analysis, transcatheter arterial embolization, tumour size <5 cm and earlier Cancer and the Liver Italian Program stage were independent factors associated with a better survival. Conclusions: For patients who fulfilled the criteria of transcatheter arterial embolization, embolization can serve as a primary treatment for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. The survival benefit of transcatheter arterial embolization is regardless of tumour stages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)