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Treatment strategy for early hepatocellular carcinomas: Comparison of radiofrequency ablation with or without transcatheter arterial chemoembolization and surgical resection




The preferred choice between surgical treatment and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of small resectable hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC) has become a subject for debate.


We compared the results of hepatic resection (n = 199) with those of RFA (n = 87), of which 69 patients were treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization followed by RFA, for 286 patients with 3 or fewer nodules, none of which exceeded 3 cm in diameter at Hiroshima University Hospital.


In subgroup analysis of single HCC with tumor size exceeding 2 cm in Child-Pugh class A, the disease-free survival time was significantly longer in the surgical resection group than in the RFA group (P = 0.048). In the subgroups of a single and multiple HCC with tumor size ≤2 cm in Child-Pugh class A, the overall and disease-free survival rates were almost the same for the surgical resection and RFA groups (P = 0.46 and 0.58, respectively, in single HCC, and P = 0.98 and 0.98, respectively, in multiple HCC).


Surgical resection may provide better long-term disease-free survival than RFA in the subgroup of a single HCC exceeding 2 cm of Child-Pugh class A. J. Surg. Oncol. 2011;104:3–9. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.