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Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Aug;97(35):e11618. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011618.

Clinical outcome in elderly Chinese patients with primary hepatocellular carcinoma treated with percutaneous microwave coagulation therapy (PMCT): A Strobe-compliant observational study.

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Department of Interventional Oncology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China.


Percutaneous microwave ablation therapy (PMCT) has been recommended for elderly hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who cannot tolerate surgery due to their age or presence of comorbidities. Few studies have investigated efficacy and treatment outcomes for PMCT treatment in these patients, especially in China, where patients are more often diagnosed and treated early in life. This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of ultrasound-guided PMCT in treatment-naive elderly HCC patients, and analyzed risk factors associated with poor treatment outcomes.The 65 HCC patients in this retrospective study were divided into 2 groups: <65 years old or ≥65 years old. Patients received PMCT every month until tumor was unobservable and were then followed for 1 month after ablation. The primary clinical endpoint was the rate of complete tumor ablation, and secondary endpoints were progression-free survival and overall survival.Patients ≥65 years old had significantly poorer performance status than younger patients, but similar rates of complete ablation. Multiple tumors and hypertension were associated with a significantly higher risk of death, while higher postoperative alanine aminotransferase levels were associated with a significantly lower risk of death. Patients with tumor sizes >5 to ≤ 10 cm were at a significantly higher risk for disease progression than patients with tumor sizes >1 to ≤ 3 cm. Complete ablation significantly lowered the risk of disease progression.PMCT is safe and effective for patients ≥65 years of age, achieving total ablation in more than 90% of patients. Age and comorbidities did not affect clinical outcome.

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