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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2013 Apr;24(4):490-500. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Prospective study of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma: an Asian cooperative study between Japan and Korea.

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Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital East, 6-5-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, 277-8577, Japan.



To evaluate the safety and efficacy of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization used for the treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with an Asian cooperative prospective study between Japan and Korea.


Patients with unresectable HCC unsuitable for curative treatment or with no prior therapy for HCC were enrolled. The patients underwent transcatheter arterial chemoembolization with emulsion of Lipiodol and anthracycline agent, followed by embolization with gelatin sponge particles, which was repeated on an as-needed basis. The primary endpoint was 2-year survival rate, and the secondary endpoints were adverse events and response rate.


The 2-year survival rate of 99 patients was 75.0% (95% confidence interval, 65.2%-82.8%). The median time-to-progression was 7.8 months, and the median overall survival period was 3.1 years. Of 99 patients, 42 (42%) achieved a complete response, and 31 (31%) had a partial response. The response rate was 73% using modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. The grade 3-4 toxicities included increased alanine aminotransferase level in 36%, increased aspartate aminotransferase level in 35%, thrombocytopenia in 12%, and abdominal pain in 4% of patients. All other toxicities were generally transient.


Asian transcatheter arterial chemoembolization demonstrated sufficient safety and reasonable efficacy as a standard treatment for unresectable HCC. These results could be useful as reference data for future trials of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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