Purpose: To retrospectively compare radiologic tumor response and degree of necrosis in explanted livers after chemoembolization with epirubicin-loaded DC Bead versus bland embolization in patients on a transplant waiting list. Materials and Methods: From 2003 to 2007, 49 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) underwent transplantation at a single center. Sixteen patients were treated with bland embolization (n = 8) with 100-300-μm Embosphere particles or chemoembolization with epirubicin-loaded 100-300-μm DC Bead particles (n = 8) every other month until complete tumor devascularization. Computed tomography was performed every 3 months until recurrence. Explanted livers were analyzed to evaluate the degree of necrosis in the nodules. After orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), patients were followed up for survival and disease status. Results: The groups were comparable for baseline characteristics. Most patients had Child-Pugh class A disease. Solitary HCC was found in 75% of patients. Mean target lesion size was 32 mm ± 15.4. Chemoembolization with drug-eluting beads achieved complete necrosis in 77% of lesions whereas bland embolization achieved complete necrosis in 27.2% of lesions. There was a significant difference between bland embolization and chemoembolization with DC Bead with regard to histologic necrosis (P = .043). No significant treatment-related complications were observed for either group. Fifteen patients are alive with no tumor recurrence. Conclusions: Chemoembolization with drug-eluting beads before OLT achieved higher rates of complete histologic response than bland embolization, with no serious adverse events observed. Because of the retrospective data analyses and small sample size, further studies are warranted to confirm these promising results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging