Radiofrequency ablation can be repeated for future recurrences of hepatocellular carcinoma

Thursday, December 30, 2010 (Last Updated: 01/03/2011)

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) appears to be safe and effective for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among patients with cirrhosis, according to a study published online Oct. 21 in Hepatology.

Sandro Rossi, M.D., of the IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, Italy, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed a prospective series of 706 patients with cirrhosis (Child-Pugh class, ≤B7) who underwent RFA for 859 HCC ≤35 mm in diameter (one to two per patient). They classified the RFA results as complete responses (CRs) or treatment failures, with CRs obtained in 849 nodules (98.8 percent) and 696 patients (98.5 percent).

During a median follow-up of 29 months, the investigators found that 465 (66.8 percent) of the 696 patients with CRs experienced a first recurrence at an incidence rate of 41 per 100 person-years (local recurrence, 6.2; nonlocal, 35). The cumulative incidence of first recurrence at three years was 70.8 percent and at five years was 81.7 percent. Of the 465 patients with first recurrence, RFA was repeated in 323 (69.4 percent), and the investigators found that disease-free status was restored in 318 cases (98.4 percent). Subsequently, RFA was repeated in 147 (65.9 percent) of the 223 patients who developed a second recurrence after CR of the first, and disease-free status in 145 cases (98.6 percent) was restored. No RFA procedure-related deaths occurred in the study.

"RFA is safe and effective for managing HCC in patients with cirrhosis, and its high repeatability makes it particularly valuable for controlling intrahepatic recurrences," the authors write.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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