Transarterial Oil Chemoembolization for Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Izhar Levy, Anthony Verstandig, Talia Sasson, Dana Wolf, Ilia Krichon, Eugin Libson, Pinchas Levensart, Orit Papo, Oded Yurim, Ahmed Id, Daniel Shouval
Division of Medicine, Liver Unit and Invasive Radiology, Radiology, Pathology and Surgery Depts., Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy with a grave prognosis. Most patients have both the malignant tumor as well as hepatic cirrhosis. Liver transplantation or hepatectomy are considered the only curative procedures, but can be applied in fewer than 10% of patients. In recent decades the most common treatments of HCC are transarterial chemoembolization with oil (TOCE) and percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI). We summarize our retrospective study of 100 patients (mean age 64) 3 treated by TE.
In 271 procedures between 1989-1998, in 16 patients hepatectomy was combined with TOCE and in 8 PEI was combined with TOCE, while the rest were treated by TOCE alone. Tumor mass was reduced in 36% of those treated by TOCE (tumor volume reduced 24-75%). Alpha-feto protein (AFP) was reduced 25-90% in 20/32 of those with elevated AFP levels. Median survival for the 100 in the entire group was 19 months (10.9 months in those with conservative treatment). Median survival in the 57 in Okuda stage 1 and the 43 in stages 2 or 3 was 30.1 months and 10.9 months, respectively (p<0.0001). Of the 57 in stage 1, 16 underwent hepatectomy in addition to TOCE and 41 were treated only by TOCE (median survival 15 and 26 months, respectively, p not significant).
Comparing Okuda 1 patients treated by TOCE only with the natural history of the disease and historical controls (Okuda 1 patients treated conservatively in 1984) median survival was 26 and 10 months respectively (p<0.001). The side effects of TOCE were relatively mild. There was 1 fatality (3 days after treatment), and quality of life was maintained. Despite progress in the treatment of HCC by TOCE, PEI, and liver transplantation, long-term survival has remained unsatisfactory.