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Chemoembolization, Survival in Liver Cancer Studied

Chemoembolization in conjunction with permanent embolic agent provides longer survival

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who underwent transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) in conjunction with a permanent embolic agent survived longer than patients who underwent TACE with a nonpermanent embolic agent, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Antoinette S. Gomes, M.D., of the University of California at Los Angeles, and colleagues assessed the outcomes for 124 patients with unresectable HCC who underwent TACE, including 56 who received triple-drug TACE and a nonpermanent embolic agent, and 68 patients who had triple-drug TACE with a permanent embolic agent. Twenty-eight of the patients went on to have liver transplants and 96 did not.

The researchers found that survival was significantly longer for those who got a liver transplant (mean 83.45 months) than those who did not (mean 22.17 months). Among non-transplant patients, survival was longer with Child-Pugh class A cirrhosis versus Child-Pugh class B cirrhosis (mean 30.28 and 11.62 months, respectively), in Okuda stage I versus stage II disease (mean 31.37 and 17.37 months, respectively), and for those receiving TACE with the permanent embolic agent versus those receiving TACE with the nonpermanent agent out to 30 months (mean 17.32 and 10.95 months, respectively).

"Patients with HCC who underwent triple-drug TACE followed by liver transplantation showed the longest survival. Patients who did not receive a transplant and were treated with triple-drug TACE with a permanent embolic agent showed longer survival to 30 months after TACE than those receiving a nonpermanent embolic agent," the authors write.

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