Hepatic Artery Chemoembolization for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients Listed for Liver Transplantation


*Corresponding author: Paul H. Hayashi, hayaship@slu.edu


We retrospectively analyzed all listed patients having hepatic artery chemoembolization (HACE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) stage T2 or less. Outcomes were transplantation, waiting list removal, death, and HCC recurrence. Twenty patients (mean age 55.7 years; 15 males) were identified. Twelve (60%) were transplanted, seven (35%) were removed from the list and one (5%) remains listed. Fourteen (70%) are alive. All 12 transplanted patients are alive (mean 2.94 years); one of seven removed from the list is alive (mean 1.45 years). Survival was significantly higher for those transplanted or listed vs. removed from the list (100% vs. 14.3%, p = 0.0002). No HCC's recurred. Three patients (15%) were removed from the list after prolonged waiting times before MELD. Hepatic artery chemoembolization induced deterioration and removal from the list of one (5%) patient. Survival for those transplanted was excellent(100%), but overall survival was significantly lower (61.3%) at a mean 5.48 years. Hepatic artery chemoembolization for listed patients with ≤€ T2 stage HCC is beneficial, but must be weighed against decreased waiting times and risk of HACE-induced deterioration. This balance is influenced greatly by the MELD system's determination of waiting times for HCC patients.