Objectives: Curative hepatectomy and tumor thrombectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma with complicating biliary tumor thrombosis (HCC/BTT) is associated with high surgical morbidity and mortality. This retrospective study evaluated the effectiveness and safety of neoadjuvant transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) in HCC/BTT patients scheduled for curative resection.
Methods: Thirty consecutive patients with diagnosed HCC/BTT were hospitalized for neoadjuvant TACE and elective curative liver resection (group A; n=20) or curative liver resection alone (group B; n=10). The primary outcome measure was median survival.
Results: Group A had a significantly shorter overall operative time (160±25 versus 190±35 min; p < .01) and duration of inflow control (14.3±3.6 versus 25.1±5.1 min; p < .01) and significantly less intraoperative blood loss (150±35 versus 520±75 ml; p < .01) and transfusion (100±40 versus 375±55 ml; p < .01) as compared to group B. Among patients undergoing both thrombectomy and curative resection, the median survival of group A was significantly longer than that of group B (28.5 [9–54] versus 21.5 [6–39] months; p < .01); among those who received thrombectomy alone, the median survival of group A was also significantly longer than that of group B (12.8 [6–25] versus 4.5 [2–7] months; p < .01).
Conclusions: Neoadjuvant TACE significantly reduced the surgical risk of curative liver resection and significantly prolonged median survival in HCC patients with complicating BTT.