Background: Overall survival in hepatocellular carcinoma patients treated with percutaneous radiofrequency ablation is influenced by both recurrence and successive treatments. We investigated post-recurrence survival after radiofrequency ablation. Methods: Data on 103 early/intermediate patients initially treated with radiofrequency ablation and followed for a median of 78 months (range 68-82) were retrospectively analysed. If intrahepatic disease recurrence occurred within or contiguous to the previously treated area it was defined as local, otherwise as distant; recurrence classified as Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage C was defined by neoplastic portal vein thrombosis or metastases. Results: A total of 103 patients were included (82.5% male, median age 70 years, range 39-86). During follow-up, 64 recurrences were observed. Median overall survival was 62 months (95% confidence interval: 54-78) and survival rates were 97%, 65% and 52% at 1, 4 and 5 years, respectively. Median post-recurrence survival was 22 months (95% confidence interval: 16-35). Child-Pugh score, performance status, sum of tumour diameters at recurrence and recurrence patterns were independent predictors of post-recurrence survival. Conclusions: In patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after radiofrequency ablation, clinical and tumour parameters assessed at relapse, in particular the type of recurrence pattern, influence post-recurrence survival.
- Liver cancer
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