Pre-operative chemoembolization at hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients

V. Di Carlo, G. Ferrari, R. Castoldi, P. De Nardi, C. Bergamo, G. Taccagni, M. Salvioni, E. Angeli, M. Venturini, A. Del Maschio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of the study was to evaluate clinical and pathological effects of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) before surgical resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis (55 patients); results were compared with a group of 45 patients undergoing surgical resection without TACE. METHODOLOGY: From March 1989 to December 1997, 55 cirrhotic patients, affected by surgically resectable HCC not larger than 5 cm with unifocal or bifocal tumor lesions, underwent TACE pre-operatively. RESULTS: Massive necrosis was observed in 26%, necrosis > 50% in 38% of lesions. Neoplastic cells were found in 47% of cases within the capsule or in the pericapsular tissue. Satellite nodules showed a low rate of necrosis. Mortality and morbidity in the pre-operative TACE group were 1,8% and 29%, respectively, and 4,4% and 33%, respectively, in the control group. One-, 3- and 5-year patient survival rates were 87%, 70% and 39%, respectively, versus 79%, 38% and 19%, respectively (p <0.02), in the control group. Disease-free survival was 40% and 28% at 3 years and 5 years with pre-operative TACE versus 20% and 11% (p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Pre-operative TACE can be performed with low morbidity. TACE can necrotize the main lesion and temporarily arrest portal diffusion of neoplastic cells by acting on microvascular infiltration. No evident effect on satellites and pericapsular neoplastic foci was observed. The long-term patients and disease-free survival rates were improved upon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1950-1954
Number of pages5
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Chemoembolization
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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