Balloon-Occluded MWA (b-MWA) Followed by Balloon-Occluded TACE (b-TACE): Technical Note on a New Combined Single-Step Therapy for Single Large HCC

Roberto Iezzi, Alessandro Posa, Alessandro Tanzilli, Francesca Carchesio, Maurizio Pompili, Riccardo Manfredi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To evaluate the feasibility, safety and efficacy of a combined single-step therapy in patients with unresectable single large (> 5 cm) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with balloon-occluded microwave ablation (b-MWA) plus transcatheter arterial balloon-occluded chemoembolization (b-TACE).

MATERIALS & METHODS: Five consecutive Child A patients (mean age: 71.4 ± 3.2 yo; range 68-76 yo) with an unresectable single large HCC (> 5 cm) (mean size: 5.7 ± 0.6 cm; range 5.1-6.5 cm) were enrolled in our pilot study. The schedule consisted of percutaneous microwave ablation of the lesion during balloon occlusion of the hepatic artery supplying the tumor (b-MWA), followed by TACE under the occlusion of feeding arteries by a microballoon catheter (b-TACE). Adverse events and intra- and peri-procedural complications were clinically assessed. Early local efficacy was evaluated on 1- and 6-month follow-up multiphasic computed tomography (CT) on the basis of m-RECIST criteria.

RESULTS: Technical success was obtained in all procedures. No major complications occurred. A mean necrotic area of 6.8 ± 0.47 cm (range 6.3-7.4 cm) was obtained, with a complete response at 1-month follow-up obtained in 4 out of 5 lesions, with 1 partial response (less than 30% of residual tumor), successfully treated with a single TACE treatment. No residual tumor or local recurrence was registered at 6-month CT follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary experience seems to demonstrate that b-MWA plus b-TACE could be a safe and effective combined therapy for unresectable large HCC lesions, allowing a high rate of local response also in lesion exceeding 5 cm in size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1702-1707
Number of pages6
JournalCardiovasc. Intervent. Radiol.
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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