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The treatment methods available for large primary hepatocellular carcinomas (diameter >5 cm) are inadequate. Here, we report the successful management of 80 cases of large hepatocellular carcinoma, using a combination of custom-designed permanent interstitial iodine-125 seed brachytherapy and palliative surgery. Patients were enrolled in the study between 2011 and 2014. All patients underwent surgical treatment along with permanent interstitial iodine-125 seed brachytherapy; for the latter, patients received minimum doses covering 90% of the target (D90 s) of iodine-125 seeds ranging from 100 to 160 Gy (median: 110 Gy). All patients received 6 cycles of chemotherapy and were followed up at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months postoperatively. The clinical symptom remission rate was 95.3% (61 of 64). Alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels decreased to normal in 80% (50 of 60) and 75% of the patients (45 of 60), respectively. The posttreatment alpha-fetoprotein levels decreased by 50% in 80% of the patients (40 of 50). The effective therapy rates were 80% (76 of 95) for 95 tumor nodules (diameters 5-10 cm) and 78.6% (33 of 42) for 42 tumor nodules (diameters >10 cm). The 3-year disease-free survival rate was 66.6%. Palliative surgery plus permanent interstitial iodine-125 seed brachytherapy appears to be a reasonable therapeutic alternative for large hepatocellular carcinoma.