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HPB (Oxford). 2011 Jan;13(1):24-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-2574.2010.00228.x. Epub 2010 Nov 8.

Radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma as a bridge to liver transplantation.

Author information

  • 1Liver Transplant Unit, Multiorgan Transplant Programme, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is widely utilized as a bridge to liver transplant with limited evidence to support efficacy. The purpose of the present study was to measure the effect of RFA on time to drop-off in HCC-listed patients.

METHODS:

Patients with Milan criteria tumours listed between January 1999 and June 2007 were stratified into RFA (n= 77) and No Treatment groups (n= 93).

RESULTS:

The primary effectiveness of RFA was 83% (complete radiographic response). RFA was associated with a longer median wait time to transplant (9.5 vs. 5 months). Tumour-specific drop-off events were equivalent between RFA (21%) and No Treatment (12%) groups (P= 0.11). Controlling for wait time, there was no difference in overall (P= 0.56) or tumour-specific drop-off (P= 0.94). Furthermore, there were no differences in 5-year overall or tumour-free survivals from list date or transplant. Using multivariate analysis, the likelihood of receiving a transplant and patient survivals were associated with tumour characteristics (AFP, tumour number and size) and not with bridge therapy or waiting time.

DISCUSSION:

RFA allows patients to be maintained longer on the waiting list without negative consequences on drop-off or survival compared with no treatment. Post-transplant outcomes are affected more by tumour characteristics than RFA or wait time.

© 2010 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.

PMID:
21159100
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3019538
Free PMC Article
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