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Radioactive Ablation for Liver Cancer: Focus on Patterns of Recurrence

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Friday, March 24, 2023

In a recent article published in Frontiers of Oncology, a group of researchers highlighted the long-term outcome of radiofrequency ablation as a first-line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. Man Chen, PhD, of Shandong University, Jinan, China, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to examine the prognostic factors for different recurrence patterns, overall survival, and disease-free survival in patients who received radiofrequency ablation. Their findings revealed that the median overall survival and disease-free survival were 120 months and 43.6 months, respectively.

“Radiofrequency ablation, a standard minimally invasive treatment modality, has been widely used in clinical practice for local control of liver tumors…. Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective treatment for liver cancer. However, as with other local treatments, recurrence and metastasis after radiofrequency ablation remain a significant threat for liver cancer patients,” stated Dr. Chen and colleagues.

A total of 406 patients who underwent radiofrequency ablation were included in this study. Patient medical records from January 2010 to January 2019 were retrospectively reviewed, and disease recurrence was classified into three groups: local tumor progression, intrahepatic distant metastasis, and extrahepatic metastasis. Additionally, overall survival, disease-free survival, and risk factors were assessed for each modality. The risk factors were age, gender, liver function tests, blood tests, and tumor size.

Overall findings revealed a median overall survival of 120 months and a disease-free survival of 43.6 months. During follow-up, a total of 312 patients developed intrahepatic distant metastasis. Risk-factor analyses showed that preoperative glucose > 4.5 mmol/L (95% confidence interval = 0.008–0.378, hazard ratio = 0.055, P = .003) was a protective factor for local tumor progression. White blood cell count > 5.55 x 109/L was found to be an independent risk factor for local recurrence. Additionally, age (P = .030), recurrence pattern (P < .001), and Child-Pugh class B (P = .015) were identified as independent predictors of overall survival, according to the study authors.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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