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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Postoperative Adjuvant Transarterial Chemoembolization Improves Outcomes of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Associated with Hepatic Vein Invasion: A Propensity Score Matching Analysis

Xiu-Ping Zhang MD, Yan-Chen Liu BM, Zhen-Hua Chen MD, Ju-Xian Sun MD, Kang Wang MD, Zong-Tao Chai MD, Jie Shi MD, Wei-Xing Guo MD, Meng-Chao Wu MD, Wan Yee Lau MD, Shu-Qun Cheng MD
Hepatobiliary Tumors
Volume 26, Issue 5 / May , 2019



Vascular invasion is a major determinant of survival outcomes after curative resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. This study was designed to investigate the efficacy of postoperative adjuvant transarterial chemoembolization (PA-TACE) in patients with HCC with hepatic vein tumor thrombus (HVTT).


Data from patients who underwent LR for HCC with HVTT at the Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital were retrospectively analyzed. The survival outcomes for patients who underwent PA-TACE after LR were compared with those who underwent LR alone. Propensity score matching (PSM) analysis was performed to match patients in a ratio of 1:1.


All included 319 patients who underwent LR for HCC with HVTT, 134 underwent LR alone (the LR group), and 185 patients underwent in adjuvant TACE (the PA-TACE group). PSM matched 107 patients in two groups. The overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were significantly better for patients in the PA-TACE group than the LR group (for OS: before PSM, P < 0.001; after PSM, P = 0.004; for RFS: before PSM, P < 0.001; after PSM, P = 0.013), respectively. On subgroup analysis, equivalent acceptable results were obtained in patients with peripheral HVTT (pHVTT) and major HVTT (mHVTT). However, PA-TACE resulted in no survival benefits for patients when the HVTT had extended to the inferior vena cava (IVCTT).


PA-TACE was associated with significantly better survival outcomes than LR alone for patients with HCC and HVTT (pHVTT and mHVTT). There was no survival benefits in patients whose HVTT had extended to form IVCTT.

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