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ABSTRACT: Previous poor results of liver transplantation (LT) have been confirmed in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Adenovirus-mediated delivery of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (ADV-TK) therapy is an established adjuvant treatment in cancer, and we evaluated its potential as an adjuvant treatment for HCC patients who underwent LT.
Forty-five HCC patients with tumors >5 cm in diameter participated in the study over a follow-up period of 50 months. Among these patients, 22 received LT only, and 23 received LT combined with ADV-TK therapy. All HCC patients enrolled in this study had tumors >5 cm in diameter and no metastasis in lungs or bones was detected by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans.
The recurrence-free survival and the overall survival in the LT plus ADV-TK therapy group were 43.5% and 69.6%, respectively, at 3 years; both values were significantly higher than those in the LT-only group (9.1% and 19.9%, respectively). In the nonvascular invasion subgroup, overall survival was 100% and recurrence-free survival was 83.3% in the patients receiving LT plus ADV-TK, significantly higher than the patients receiving LT only.
HCC patients with no vascular invasion could be selected for LT followed by adjuvant ADV-TK therapy, regardless of intrahepatic huge or diffuse tumor. We propose that the current criteria for LT based on tumor size may be expanded if accompanied by ADV-TK therapy due to improved prognosis.
Clinical Cancer Research 11/2007; 13(19):5847-54. · 7.84 Impact Factor