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Hepat Mon. 2014 Dec 28;14(12):e25792. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.25792. eCollection 2014 Dec.

Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization therapy for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Advanced Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Research Center (ADIR), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
Baqiyatallah Research Center for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.
Internal Medicine Department, Imam-Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, IR Iran.
Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.



Although transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) has been widely used as a palliative treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), its actual efficacy and prognostic usefulness have not been clarified in past studies.


The aim of the study is to investigate the efficacy, complications, and prognostic factors of the TACE in unresectable HCC patients.


Thirty-two patients with unresectable HCC were treated with TACE. The procedure was performed with a combination of Lipiodol, doxorubicin, and cytomycin followed by gelatin-sponge particles embolization. CT-scan imaging and liver function tests (AST, ALT, ALP, BIL, and PT) were performed before and after the TACE. All patients were followed-up for 6-months.


Of all patients, 1 and 11 patients respectively, exhibited a complete response (CR) and a partial response (PR) (response rate, CR+PR, 44%). Data have shown that tumor size, number of lesions and number of involved segments are significantly reduced after the TACE performance (P < 0.05). No significant clinical adverse effect was observed in patients after the intervention. Also, liver function tests including AST, ALT, ALP, BIL, and PT did not significantly differ before and after the intervention (P > 0.05). The 6-month cumulative survival rates of the 32 patients were 78.1 %, respectively. Univariate analysis showed that survival correlated significantly with the following factors: tumor size; ≥ 8 cm versus < 8 cm (P < 0.010), serum ALP level; < 300 versus ≥ 300 (P < 0.043), and number of liver involved segments; < 2 versus ≥ 2 (P < 0.020).


We showed that in treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, TACE significantly improved the disease and the overall survival rate. Also, we introduce the tumor size, serum ALP level, and number of liver involved segments as prognostic factors of the procedure. Finally, TACE can be recommended as the initial treatment for unresectable HCC patients.


Hepatocellular Carcinoma; Lipiodol; Treatment

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