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Diagn Interv Radiol. 2017 Mar-Apr;23(2):150-155. doi: 10.5152/dir.2016.16617.

Study on the effect of chemoembolization combined with microwave ablation for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in rats.

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Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Frankfurt University Hospital, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.



We aimed to evaluate the combining effects of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and open local thermal microwave ablation in a hepatocellular carcinoma animal model.


Tumor cubes were implanted into the liver of 30 male inbred ACI rats. Groups of 10 animals were treated at 13 days (TACE or microwave ablation) and 16 days (microwave ablation) postimplantation with combined therapy of TACE (0.1 mg mitomycin C; 0.1 mg iodized oil; 5.0 mg degradable starch microspheres) and microwave ablation (2450 Mhz; 45 s; 35 W) (study group A), TACE alone (control group B), or microwave ablation alone (control group C). At day 12 and day 25 tumor size was measured via magnetic resonance imaging and the relative growth ratio was calculated. Hepatic specimens were immunohistochemically examined for the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).


Mean growth rates were 1.34±0.19 in group A, 3.19±0.13 in group B, and 4.18±0.19 in group C. Compared with control groups B and C, tumor growth rate in group A was significantly inhibited (P < 0.01). The VEGF-antibody reaction in peritumoral tissue (staining intensity at portal triad, percent antibody reaction and staining intensity at central vein) was significantly lower in group A compared with group B (P < 0.01). No significant difference between group A and group C could be observed.


This investigation shows improved results of TACE followed by microwave ablation as treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in a rat model, compared with single therapy regimen regarding the inhibition of growth rate and reduction of VEGF-level in peritumoral tissue.

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