Limitation of repeated radiofrequency ablation in hepatocellular carcinoma: Proposal of a three (times) 3 (years) index
ABSTRACT Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We investigated the controllability of HCC and explored the algorithm of therapeutic strategy for HCC in patients who met the RFA criteria.
We enrolled 472 patients with HCC who met the RFA criteria (≤ 3 nodules, ≤ 3 cm) and underwent RFA for initial therapy. Patients who underwent repeated RFA were evaluated retrospectively when HCC exceeded the RFA criteria, or the functional hepatic reserve progressed to Child-Pugh grade C.
Overall survival rates were: 1 year, 96%; 3 years, 79%; and 5 years, 56%. In 5 years, 14% of patients progressed to Child-Pugh grade C. Meanwhile, 47% of patients exceeded the RFA criteria. Annually, 8% of patients deviated from the RFA criteria. The percentage of patients who were able to receive RFA significantly decreased at the fourth session compared with up to the third session. The survival rates decreased at the rate of 7% annually until the third year after the initial RFA. Afterwards, it shifted to a decrease at the rate of 12% annually. In a multivariate analysis, the presence of hepatitis C virus infection and the existence of a single tumor were identified as significant independent factors contributing to probabilities exceeding the RFA criteria.
HCC was controlled by RFA up to three RFA treatments and 3 years from the initial therapy. On this basis, we propose a "three (times) × 3 (years) index" for considering a shift from RFA to other treatment modalities.
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ABSTRACT: For the treatment of small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is in some centers considered a first-line therapeutic option. However, such a strategy is still under debate with regard to tumor and patient characteristics. In this single-center study we assessed the 5-year survival and prognosis factors in 235 consecutive patients with cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A/B: 205/30) who received RFA as first-line treatment for up to three HCC <or=5 cm (307 tumors; mean diameter: 29 +/- 10 mm; 53 multinodular forms). Among these patients, 67 satisfied the criteria for resection according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer. Complete ablation was obtained in 222 patients (94%). Overall, 337 RFA sessions were performed including iterative RFA for recurrence. Major complications occurred in three patients (0.9%), including one treatment-related death. After 27 +/- 20 months of mean follow-up, local or distant, or both, tumor recurrence occurred in 16, 88, and 11 patients, respectively. Twenty-nine patients underwent transplantation and were removed from the study at this point. Overall 5-year, recurrence-free, and tumor-free (including results of iterative RFA) survival rates were, respectively, 40%, 17%, and 32%. The overall 5-year survival rate was 76% for operable patients. Factors associated with overall survival were prothrombin activity (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.97, 0.96-0.98; P < 0.0001) and serum levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) (HR = 1.02, 1.02-1.02; P < 0.0001), and factors associated with tumor recurrence were multinodular forms (HR = 2.34; 1.52-3.6; P = 0.0001) and serum AFP levels (HR = 1.015, 1.014-1.016; P = 0.015). Tumor size was associated with local recurrence but not with overall and tumor-free survival. CONCLUSION: RFA is a safe and effective first-line treatment of HCC up to 5 cm in diameter, especially for patients with a single tumor, a low serum AFP level, and well-preserved liver function.Hepatology 11/2009; 50(5):1475-83. DOI:10.1002/hep.23181 · 11.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a new, minimally invasive treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, there is little available information regarding local recurrence after a single session of RFA with a single electron insertion. From February 1999 to September 2001, we treated 104 HCC tumors with an expandable needle with four hooks. Ninety-nine of the 104 tumors were successfully treated by single-session RFA with a single electrode insertion. We investigated the relationships between pretreatment factors (tumor size, tumor staining, tumor capsule, and tumor location) and local recurrence in these 99 tumors. The mean size of the 99 tumors was 21.5 mm in diameter (range, 10 to 33 mm). The overall local recurrence rates were 9.7%, 15.4%, and 20.4%, at 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. For small tumors (smaller than 25 mm), the local recurrence rates at 1, 2, and 3 years were 4.0%, 8.0%, and 14.6%, respectively. The local recurrence rates were 21.1% and 32.3% at 1 and 2 years, respectively, for large tumors (25 mm or larger), and at 3 years the rate was over 50% for tumors located close to the liver surface. Tumor size and tumor location relative to the liver surface were significantly associated with a higher local recurrence rate. However, other variables tested showed no significant relationship to the local recurrence rate. This study demonstrated that both tumor size and location relative to the liver surface influence the local efficacy of single-session RFA with a single electrode insertion.Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a new, minimally invasive treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, there is little available information regarding local recurrence after a single session of RFA with a single electrode insertion.Journal of Gastroenterology 02/2003; 38(10):977-81. DOI:10.1007/s00535-003-1181-0 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We evaluated the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency (RF) ablation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in presumably high-risk locations. Between February 1999 and December 2001, we performed RF ablation on 1419 nodules in 636 consecutive HCC patients, of which 231 nodules in 207 patients were in high-risk locations, defined as less than 5 mm from a large vessel or an extrahepatic organ. Eighty-one patients had a nodule adjacent to a large vessel, 145 patients had a nodule adjacent to an extrahepatic organ, of whom 19 also had one adjacent to a large vessel. Early complications and local tumor progression were analyzed with regard to the location of each nodule. The mean nodule diameter and average number per patient were 27 mm and 2.3, respectively. Early complications, within 30 days after ablation, occurred in 12 of 207 patients (5.8%) with a nodule in a high-risk location and in 15 of 429 patients (3.5%) without (P = .1776). There was no significant difference in local tumor progression rate between nodules in high-risk locations (1 year: 2.1%, 2 years: 3.1%, 3 years: 3.1%) and those elsewhere (1 year: 0.6%, 2 years: 1.7%, 3 years: 2.5%) (P = .2745). In conclusion, HCC nodules adjacent to a large vessel or extrahepatic organ were treated with RF ablation without compromising the efficacy of the procedure. However, even though without significant difference, some complications occurred at risky locations and need to be carefully considered.Hepatology 05/2006; 43(5):1101-8. DOI:10.1002/hep.21164 · 11.19 Impact Factor