TACE combined with dendritic cells and cytokine-induced killer cells in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: A meta-analysis

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Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a fatal cancer, have benefited significantly from TACE (transcatheter arterial chemoembolization) and immunotherapy treatments. Immunotherapy that includes dendritic cells and cytokine-induced killer cells (DC-CIK) in combination with TACE has been extensively applied in cases of HCC. Few decisive conclusions about these combined effects on the outcomes of HCC patients have been reached. Therefore, the present meta-analysis was performed to compare the efficacy of the combined usage of DC-CIK with TACE with a TACE therapy alone on the outcomes of HCC patients. Participants were enrolled in eight eligible trials. The efficiency and safety of TACE followed by DC-CIK immunotherapy (experimental group) and of TACE alone (control group) were compared. The meta-analysis results demonstrated that TACE plus DC-CIK immunotherapy is possibly superior to TACE alone in promoting a better overall response, for half-year, 1-year, and 2-year overall survival (OS), median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival rates (PFS) in HCC patients. Further studies should be performed to confirm the effect of the combined therapy.

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