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Cancer. 1985 Jun 15;55(12):2822-5.

Transcatheter arterial embolization for hepatocellular carcinoma. Benefits and limitations for unresectable cases with liver cirrhosis evaluated by comparison with other conservative treatments.


Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was performed in cirrhotic patients with nonoccluded main portal trunk and total bilirubin levels less than 5 mg/dl. In 48 patients with tumor response to TAE, its benefit was evaluated by comparing their survival with that in 28 patients after conservative treatments, matched by clinical data. In TAE-treated patients, tumor findings on computerized tomography and angiogram were significantly different between those dying within 3 months and those surviving over 18 months. In cases of tumors occluding the first- or second-order portal branches or occupying more than 20% of the liver, or relatively hypovascular tumors with unclear boundaries, survival was not different between TAE- and non-TAE-treated patients, whereas it was significantly improved by TAE in cases without these findings. These results suggest that TAE is beneficial in cases of unresectable HCC complicating liver cirrhosis, but its benefit is limited under certain conditions.

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