Initial treatment response is essential to improve survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent curative radiofrequency ablation therapy.

Research paper by Shunsuke S Takahashi, Masatoshi M Kudo, Hobyung H Chung, Tatsuo T Inoue, Emi E Ishikawa, Satoshi S Kitai, Chie C Tatsumi, Taisuke T Ueda, Yasunori Y Minami, Kazuomi K Ueshima, Seiji S Haji

Indexed on: 22 Dec '07Published on: 22 Dec '07Published in: Oncology


This study was undertaken to assess the outcome of potentially curative radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy for early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with Child-Pugh stage A cirrhosis.This study retrospectively evaluated clinical outcomes in a cohort of 171 Child-Pugh stage A cirrhotic patients who received RFA for naïve HCC within the Milan criteria. The median follow-up period was 36.7 months.Cumulative survival rates estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method for all patients were 98.8, 91.1 and 76.8% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively. Cumulative probabilities of local tumor recurrence at 1, 2 and 3 years were 9.0, 14.1 and 17.7%, respectively. Cumulative survival rates in patients without local tumor recurrence were 96.6, 94.6 and 84.4% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively, compared with patients with local tumor recurrence (96.6, 74.8 and 42.1% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively; p = 0.0002). Cox regression analysis showed that low serum albumin (p = 0.009, RR 3.04, CI 1.32-6.98), high range of PIVKA-II (prothrombin induced by vitamin K absence or agonist II) (p = 0.025, RR 2.57, CI 1.13-5.89), with multiple (less than 3) nodules (p = 0.021, RR 2.61, CI 1.15-5.91), and with local tumor recurrence (p = 0.004, RR 3.62, CI 1.51-8.69) were significant risk factors for death.Initial complete response of curative RFA therapy in patients with Child-Pugh stage A cirrhosis and early-stage HCC is associated with improved survival. Therefore, clinicians should aim to achieve complete ablation of all detectable HCC nodules with adequate safety margins.