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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1989;23 Suppl:S123-5.

Hepatic artery embolization for inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma; prognosis and risk factors.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


During a 7-year period in our hospital, 69 patients with inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) underwent 111 courses of transcatheter hepatic artery embolization (TAE) and/or chemoinfusion with lipiodol. Patient survival was 0.5-37 months following therapy and the factors affecting prognosis were evaluated. Survival rates at 1, 2 and 3 years after TAE were 53%, 24% and 15%, respectively. Survival rates at 1, 2 and 3 years in relation to tumor size were 100%, 100% and 100% in 5 patients (tumor size less than 2 cm in diameter), 81%, 33% and 16% in 23 patients (2.1-5.0 cm), and 35%, 9% and 0% in 41 patients (greater than 5.1 cm). An analysis of prognostic factors showed that the size of the main tumor significantly influenced the prognosis following TAE (P less than 0.01), whereas the frequency of TAE, intrahepatic metastasis and the degree of liver dysfunction showed a slight correlation (P less than 0.1). These results suggest that TAE has a significant potential for becoming the first choice of treatment for patients with small multiple HCCs (less than 2 cm), provided that neither severe hepatic dysfunction nor a tumor thrombus in the main portal vein is present.

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