Background. The aims of the study were to test the difference in health-related quality (HRQL) of life and survival in patients diagnosed with primary hepatocellular carcionma (HCC) and treated with either hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) of Cisplatin or 90-Yttrium microspheres (Therasphere®).

Method. The design of the study was a non-randomized parallel cohort study. Twenty-eight patients participated in the present study. HRQL was assessed by administration of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Hepatobiliary. Survival was measured using Kaplan Meier methods.

Results. The results of present study suggest treatment with Therasphere® had an advantage in regard to HRQL and survival when compared to Cisplatin. At 3-month follow-up, patients who were treated with Therasphere® had a higher level of functional well-being as well as overall quality of life when compared to patients treated with Cisplatin. At 6-month follow-up patients (treated with Therasphere®) continued to have better functional well-being when compared to patients being treated with HAI of Cisplatin. At 6-month follow-up, survival was found to be similar for patients treated with Therasphere® when compared to patients being treated with Cisplatin.

Conclusions. Preliminary data suggest that treatment with Therasphere® has a modest advantage in regard to HRQL when compared patients treated with HAI of Cisplatin. Future research with Therasphere®, that includes a larger sample size and longer follow-up, is necessary to make definitive conclusions regarding the efficacy and effect on HRQL. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.