- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GOALS:: To elucidate whether long-term supplementation with branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) granules improves overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) after radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)≤3 cm in diameter with up to 3 nodules and a serum albumin level before RFA of ≤3.5 g/dL. BACKGROUND:: Whether BCAA treatment after curative RFA for patients with HCV-related HCC improves OS and RFS remains unclear. STUDY:: We compared the OS rate and the RFS rate between the BCAA group (n=115) and the control group (n=141). We also examined factors contributing to OS and RFS. RESULTS:: The 1 and 3 years OS rates after RFA were 94.0% and 70.0%, respectively, in the BCAA group, and 94.0% and 49.8%, respectively, in the control group (P=0.001). The corresponding RFS rates 1 and 3 years after RFA were 61.8% and 28.0%, respectively, in the BCAA group, and 52.0% and 12.0%, respectively, in the control group (P=0.013). In the multivariate analysis, in terms of OS, BCAA treatment, and serum albumin level of ≥3.4 g/dL, and in terms of RFS, age 70 years or older, BCAA treatment, and a serum albumin level of ≥3.4 g/dL were significant independent factors, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:: BCAA treatment may improve OS and RFS after RFA in patients with HCV-related HCC≤3 cm in diameter with up to 3 nodules and a serum albumin level before RFA of 3.5 g/dL.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the significance of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) treatment before transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study included 99 patients who underwent TACE therapy for HCC at our hospital and were followed up without treatment for at least 6 mo between January 2004 and January 2010. They were divided into 2 groups: those receiving BCAA granules (n = 40) or regular diet (n = 59, control). Data obtained were retrospectively analyzed (prior to TACE, and 1 wk, 1, 3, and 6 mo after TACE) in terms of nutritional condition and clinical laboratory parameters (serum albumin level and Child-Pugh score), both of which are determinants of hepatic functional reserve. The BCAA group comprised 27 males and 13 females with a mean age of 69.9 ± 8.8 years. The patients of the BCAA group were classified as follows: Child-Pugh A/B/C in 22/15/3 patients, and Stage II/III/IVA HCC in 12/23/5 patients, respectively. The control group comprised 32 males and 27 females with a mean age of 73.2 ± 10.1 years. In the control group, 9 patients had chronic hepatitis, Child-Pugh A/B/C in 39/10/1 patients, and StageI/II/III/IVA HCC in 1/11/35/12 patients, respectively. Overall, both serum albumin level and Child-Pugh score improved significantly in the BCAA group as compared with the control 3 and 6 mo after TACE (P < 0.05). Further analysis was performed by the following categorization: (1) child-Pugh classification; (2) liver cirrhosis subgroup with a serum albumin level > 3.5 g/dL; and (3) epirubicin dose. A similar trend indicating a significant improvement of all variables in the BCAA group was noted (P < 0.05). Treatment with BCAA granules in patients who have undergone TACE for HCC is considered useful to maintain their hepatic functional reserve.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clearance of hepatitis C virus infection by interferon therapy significantly reduces the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and death in elderly chronic hepatitis patients. However, there are few reports concerning the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon-alpha2b plus ribavirin combination therapy in elderly patients. The aims of the present study were to examine the effect and safety of pegylated interferon-alpha2b plus ribavirin combination therapy in 427 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. We compared the rates of sustained virological response--defined as the absence of detectable hepatitis C virus in serum 24 weeks after the treatment ended--and the treatment discontinuation rate between 319 younger patients aged < 65 years and 108 elderly patients aged ≥ 65 years. We also examined the factors contributing to a sustained virological response. There was no significant difference in the sustained virological response rate between younger patients and elderly patients according to their hepatitis C virus genotype (41.5% (100/241) and 40.7% (35/86) for genotype 1; P = 0.899, 89.7% (70/78) and 86.4% (19/22) for genotype 2; P = 0.703, respectively). There was also no significant difference in the treatment discontinuation rate between the two age groups (10.3% (33/319) and 13.9% (15/108), respectively; P = 0.378). There were no serious adverse events requiring hospitalization. The factors contributing significantly to a sustained virological response in elderly patients were gender, hepatitis C virus genotype, platelet count, and the presence of a rapid or early virological response (undetectable hepatitis C virus in serum at weeks 4 or 12 of treatment, respectively). However, upon multivariate analysis, the presence of an early virological response was the only significant factor (odds ratio: 0.115, 95% confidence interval: 0.040- 0.330, P < 0.001). The efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon-alpha2b plus ribavirin combination therapy in elderly patients are not always inferior to those in younger patients. Obtaining an early virological response may be essential to achieve a sustained virological response in elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C infection.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this investigation was to compare the outcome of percutaneous radiofrequency thermal ablation therapy (PRFA) with surgical resection (SR) in the treatment of single and small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We conducted a retrospective cohort study on 231 treatment naive patients with a single HCC ≤ 3 cm who had received either curative PRFA (162 patients) or curative SR (69 patients). All patients were regularly followed up after treatment at our department with blood and radiologic tests. The 1-, 3- and 5-year overall survival rates after PRFA and SR were 95.4%, 79.6% and 63.1%, respectively in the PRFA group and 100%, 81.4% and 74.6%, respectively in the SR group. The corresponding recurrence free survival rates at 1, 3 and 5 years after PRFA and SR were 82.0%, 38.3% and 18.0%, respectively in the PRFA group and 86.0%, 47.2% and 26.0%, respectively in the SR group. In terms of overall survival and recurrence free survival, there were no significant differences between these two groups. In comparison of PRFA group patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) (n = 127) and SR group patients with LC (n = 50) and in comparison of PRFA group patients without LC (n = 35) and SR group patients without LC (n = 19), there were also no significant differences between two groups in terms of overall survival and recurrence free survival. In the multivariate analysis of the risk factors contributing to overall survival, serum albumin level was the sole significant factor. In the multivariate analysis of the risk factors contributing to recurrence free survival, presence of LC was the sole significant factor. The rate of serious adverse events in the SR group was significantly higher than that in the PRFA group (P = 0.023). Hospitalization length in the SR group was significantly longer than in the PRFA group (P = 0.013). PRFA is as effective as SR in the treatment of single and small HCC, and is less invasive than SR. Therefore, PRFA could be a first choice for the treatment of single and small HCC.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study we classified the radicality of percutaneous radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) therapy according to the extent of the ablated margin. We measured the local recurrence rate for each radicality grade to evaluate the significance of the grading system in assessing the therapeutic effectiveness of RFA and predicting local tumor progression. This retrospective study involved 269 patients with solitary hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma who had undergone RFA. The mean ± SD observation period after RFA, number of treatment sessions, and tumor diameter were 25.7 ± 19.9 months, 1.2 ± 0.5, and 2.1 ± 0.7 cm, respectively. Patients were evaluated using dynamic computed tomography. We classified the radicality of RFA treatment into four grades (R grades: A, B, C, and D) according to the extent of the ablated tumor margin, calculated the post-RFA cumulative local recurrence rate for each R grade, and analyzed the factors (patient characteristics, biochemical data, contiguous vessels, and tumor marker) contributing to local recurrence. The cumulative local recurrence rates at 3 years were 6.7, 17.6, 55.8, and 82.2% for Grades A, B, C, and D, respectively. Using univariate analysis, R grade, tumor size (> 2 cm), and des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) (> 200 mA U/mL) were shown to be significant factors contributing to local recurrence. However, using multivariate analysis, only the R grade was found to be a significant independent factor. The proposed R grading method is a valid and useful method for assessing treatment efficacy, and for predicting local tumor progression after RFA.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Earlier diagnosis of hepatocellular-carcinoma has become possible, and resectable cases have been increasing. However, there are limitations for operation because many cases involve liver cirrhosis, and, recurrence rates after operation are high. So radiofreguency ablation(RFA) which is a less invasive treatment is the preferred method. We investigated cases of hepatic resection and RFA to ascertain which should be selected for curative treatment possible cases. The cumulative survival rate showed no difference in both groups for the patients with Child A/B, 3 cm or less in tumor diameter and 3 or less in tumor number. RFA was considered to be first choice of treatment for those cases. However, surgical resection tends to present a better long term prognosis, and should be considered for patients who are young with good liver function, and expecting a long term prognosis. Treatment should be selected on a case by case basis while considering expected survival period and QOL.