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Hepatol Res. 2011 Apr;41(4):303-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2010.00770.x. Epub 2011 Jan 30.

Comparative study of cisplatin and epirubicin in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Departments of SurgeryDiagnostic Imaging and Nuclear Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto UniversityDepartment of Biostatistics, Kyoto University School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan.



  Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is an established treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, it is unclear which chemotherapeutic agent should be selected for TACE. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of cisplatin (CDDP) with that of epirubicin (EPI) in TACE for patients with unresectable or relapsed HCC.


  We performed a historical cohort study involving 131 patients treated with a first TACE, defined as either an initial treatment for previously untreated HCC or a first treatment for relapsed HCC after curative resections or ablations. Efficacy was estimated as the response rate (RR) and it was adjusted for the confounding factors that were defined in this study.


  The RR were 62.5% (20/32) for the first TACE with CDDP and 51.5% (51/99) for that with EPI. In the adjusted analysis for a history of hepatectomy, percutaneous treatment combined with TACE and tumor factors, the odds ratio was 1.72 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.70-4.48). However, a test for interaction between the number of tumors and the chemotherapeutic agent was statistically significant (P = 0.016). In multiple HCC, the RR were 66.7% (10/17) for CDDP and 39.6% (30/46) for EPI. The odds ratio was 4.11 (95% CI = 1.14-17.2).


  CDDP may be more effective than EPI in TACE for multiple HCC. A randomized controlled study is needed to clarify the efficacy of CDDP in TACE in patients with multiple HCC.

© 2011 The Japan Society of Hepatology.

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