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Gastroenterol Jpn. 1991 Dec;26(6):774-8.

Successful treatment of a case of hepatocellular carcinoma with tumor necrosis factor and local hyperthermia.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine (Section 4), Sapporo Medical College, Japan.


A case of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma which responded favorably to combined therapy with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and local hyperthermia is reported. A 58-year-old man was admitted to our hospital in June 1988 for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma affecting S4 and S8. After three sessions of transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) therapy, the serum alpha 1-fetoprotein level decreased, and a reduction in the size of the lesions was also noted. Thereafter, the patient received local hyperthermia once a week (60 minutes of irradiation from a Thermotron-RF8 at 1,100W), but the alpha 1-fetoprotein level increased again in February 1989. On examination, enlargement of the S8 lesion and a new nodule in S7 were recognized. Since TAE was contraindicated due to liver dysfunction, human recombinant TNF (1 x 10(6)U) was given by intravenous infusion together with local hyperthermia once a week. Eight sessions of the combined therapy reduced the serum alpha 1-fetoprotein level markedly (7,512.0 to 2,782.0 pg/ml) and after eighteen sessions, 58.1% regression of tumor size (partial response) on computed tomography scans was observed. This anecdotal case supports previous experimental evidence suggesting that TNF plus hyperthermia may be effective for treating unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

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