• hepatic venous tumor thrombosis;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • portal venous tumor thrombosis;
  • radiotherapy;
  • intrahepatic large vessels


Background and Aim

To examine the efficacy and outcomes of radiotherapy (RT) in patients who have hepatocellular carcinoma with invasion to intrahepatic large vessels (IHLVs).


Sixty-seven patients who had advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with invasion to IHLVs received three-dimensional conformal RT. IHLV invasion was associated with portal venous tumor thrombosis in 40 patients, tumor thrombosis involving the hepatic vein in 17, and both findings in 10. A daily radiation dose of 1.8–2 Gy was administered using 6 or 10 MV X-rays to deliver a total dose of 30–56 Gy.


The overall objective response rate (complete response plus partial response) was 45% (n = 30). The median survival time was 13.7 months in the responder group and 5.9 months in the nonresponder group. An objective response was observed in 28 (56%) of 50 patients with Child-Pugh (C-P) class A and in 2 (12%) of 17 patients with C-P class B. Hepatic function of C-P class A was an independent factor for both RT responder and overall survival on Cox regression analysis (hazard ratio = 9.5, 95% confidence interval = 1.97–46.2, P = 0.005; and hazard ratio = 0.39, 95% confidence interval = 0.2–0.77, P = 0.007, respectively).


RT is an effective treatment option without serious adverse events. RT should be considered for the patients with better hepatic function who have invasion to IHLVs.