JOURNAL OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY 101, 6, 481 -485 (2010).
Selecting Treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Based on the Results of Hepatic Resection and Local Ablation Therapy


Atsushi Nanashima , Syuuichi Tobinaga , Junichi Masuda , Hisamitsu Miyaaki , Naota Taura , Hiroaki Takeshita , Shigekazu Hidaka , Terumitsu Sawai , Kazuhiko Nakao , Takeshi Nagayasu




Background: First-line treatment for <= 3 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) <= 3 cm in size remains controversial. The superiority of survival benefit needs to be clarified between these modalities for such lesions. Methods: We examined post-treatment survival of 144 consecutive HCC patients who underwent hepatectomy and of 56 consecutive HCC patients who underwent thermal ablation therapy limited to the HCC (<= 3 cm, <= 3 lesions). Results: Pretreatment liver function was significantly worse and prevalence of Child-Pugh classification B/C was significantly higher in the ablation group compared to the hepatectomy group. Prevalence of tumor recurrence after treatment did not differ significantly between groups, irrespective of solitary or multiple HCC. In solitary HCC, overall survival rates in both groups did not differ significantly. Even in Child-Pugh B patients, survival was not significantly different between hepatectomy and ablation. In HCC with 2-3 lesions <= 3 cm, overall survival was significantly longer with hepatectomy than with ablation and mean survival periods in the hepatectomy and ablation groups were 4.5 and 1.2 years, respectively. Conclusion: In cases of multiple small HCCs, hepatic resection is recommended over local ablation therapy as the first-line treatment in cases where liver function has been preserved. J. Surg. Oncol. 2010;101:481-485. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.