Long-term outcomes of stereotactic body radiation therapy in the treatment of hepatocellular cancer as a bridge to transplantation

Authors

  • John K. O'Connor,

    Corresponding author
    1. Baylor Radiosurgery Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
    • Baylor Radiosurgery Center, Baylor University Medical Center, 3600 Gaston Avenue, Dallas, TX 75246
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    • Telephone: 214-820-7400; FAX: 214-820-7300

  • James Trotter,

    1. Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
    2. Division of Hepatology, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
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  • Gary L. Davis,

    1. Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
    2. Division of Hepatology, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
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  • Jane Dempster,

    1. Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
    2. Baylor Liver and Pancreas Disease Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
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  • Goran B. Klintmalm,

    1. Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
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  • Robert M. Goldstein

    1. Baylor Radiosurgery Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
    2. Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
    3. Baylor Liver and Pancreas Disease Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
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Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is potentially curable with hepatic resection or transplantation. Few patients are eligible for resection, and many face a long wait for donor organ availability for liver transplantation. Here we report the safety and efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), the explant pathology findings and survival of patients treated with SBRT as a bridge to transplantation for HCC. From April 2005 to August 2010, 10 patients with 11 HCCs were treated with SBRT as a bridge to transplantation. All patients were evaluated by a liver transplant surgeon before radiosurgery. SBRT was delivered with the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system. After SBRT, all patients underwent orthotopic liver transplantation. The tumor response was determined by explant pathology. The median follow-up was 62 months from the time of SBRT. The mean time on the liver transplant wait list was 163 days. The median tumor size was 3.4 cm (range = 2.5-5.5 cm). The median SBRT dose was 51 Gy (range = 33-54 Gy) in 3 fractions. The median time from SBRT to liver transplantation was 113 days (range = 8-794 days). At 5 years, the overall survival rate and the disease-free survival rate were both 100%. Overall, 4 of the 10 patients (40%) experienced acute toxicity. Most toxicities were grade 1, and they included nausea, fatigue, and abdominal discomfort. One patient had grade 2 nausea/vomiting. Explant pathology revealed no viable tumor in 3 of the 11 tumors for a complete response rate of 27%. The remaining 8 tumors decreased or remained stable in size. In conclusion, with a median follow-up over 5 years, we have found that SBRT as a bridge to liver transplantation for HCC is feasible and well tolerated. SBRT for HCC may enable patients to remain on the list for frequently curative transplantation during the wait for organ availability. Liver Transpl, 2012. © 2012 AASLD.

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