Particle radiotherapy, a novel external radiation therapy, versus liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma accompanied with inferior vena cava tumor thrombus: A matched-pair analysis

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Abstract

Background.

Hepatocellular carcinoma accompanied with inferior vena cava tumor thrombus carries a dismal prognosis, and the feasibility of local treatment has remained controversial. The present study aimed to compare the outcomes of particle radiotherapy and liver resection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with inferior vena cava tumor thrombus.

Methods.

Thirty-one and 19 patients, respectively, underwent particle radiotherapy and liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma with inferior vena cava tumor thrombus. A matched-pair analysis was undertaken to compare the short- and long-term outcomes according to tumor stage determined using the tumor-node-metastasis classification.

Results.

Both stages IIIB and IV (IVA and IVB) patients were well-matched for 12 factors, including treatment policy and patient and tumor characteristics. The median survival time of matched patients with stage IIIB tumors in the particle radiotherapy group was greater than that in the liver resection group (748 vs 272 days, P = .029), whereas no significant difference was observed in the median survival times of patients with stage IV tumors (239 vs 311 days, respectively). There were significantly fewer treatment-related complications of grade 3 or greater in the particle radiotherapy group (0%) than in the liver resection group (26%).

Conclusion.

Particle radiotherapy is potentially preferable in hepatocellular carcinoma patients with stage IIIB inferior vena cava tumor thrombus and at least equal in efficiency to liver resection in those with stage IV disease, while causing significantly fewer complications. Considering the relatively high survival and low invasiveness of particle radiotherapy when compared to liver resection, this approach may represent a novel treatment modality for hepatocellular carcinoma with inferior vena cava tumor thrombus.

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