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Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Jun;21(6):1825-33. doi: 10.1245/s10434-014-3510-3. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

Surgical resection versus transarterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein tumor thrombosis: a propensity score analysis.

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Faculty of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.



The long-term survival in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT) who received surgical resection (SR) or transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) remains unclear. We compared the efficacy of SR and TACE by using a propensity score analysis.


A total of 247 and 181 HCC patients with PVTT undergoing SR and TACE, respectively, were evaluated. One hundred eight pairs of matched patients were selected from each treatment arm by using a propensity score analysis.


Of all patients, the estimated 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of patients receiving SR and TACE were 85 versus 60 %, 68 versus 42 %, and 61 versus 33 %, respectively (p < 0.001). Patients selected for SR were significantly younger and had better liver functional reserve, performance status, and smaller tumor burden. In the propensity model, the survival benefit of SR remained significant. The estimated 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of patients receiving SR and TACE were 84 versus 71 %, 69 versus 50 %, and 59 versus 35 %, respectively (p = 0.004). The two groups of patients in the propensity score analysis were similar in baseline characteristics. In the Cox proportional hazards model, patients receiving TACE had a 2.044-fold increased risk of mortality compared with patients receiving SR (95 % confidence interval: 1.284-3.252, p = 0.003).


For either unselected patients or patients in the propensity model, SR provides significantly better long-term survival than TACE. SR should be considered as a priority treatment in this subgroup of HCC patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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