Background: The aim of our present study was to compare quality of life (QoL) between intermediate-stage(BCLC-B) HCC patients who had undergone either liver resection or transcatheter arterial chemoembolization(TACE). Materials and
Methods: A total of 102 intermediate-stage HCC patients participated in our study,including 58 who had undergone liver resection and 44 who had undergone TACE. Baseline demographiccharacteristics, tumor characteristics, and long-term outcomes, such as tumor recurrence, were compared andanalyzed. QoL was assessed using the Short Form (SF)-36 health survey questionnaire with the mental andphysical component scales (SF-36 MCS and PCS). This questionnaire was filled out at HCC diagnosis and 1,3, 6, 12, 24 months after surgery.
Results: For the preoperative QoL evaluation, the 8 domains related to QoLwere comparable between the two groups. The PCS and MCS scores were significantly decreased in both theTACE and resection groups at1 month after surgery, and this decrease was greater in the resection group.These scores were significantly lower in the resection group compared with the TACE group (P<0.05). However,these differences disappeared at 3 and 6 months following surgery. One year after surgery, the resection groupshowed much higher PCS scores than the TACE patients (P=0.018), and at 2 years after surgery, the PCS andMCS scores for the resection group were significantly higher than those for the TACE group (P<0.05). Elevenpatients (19.0%) in the resection group and 17 (38.6%) in the TACE group suffered HCC recurrence (P<0.05).Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that tumor recurrence (HR=1.211, 95%CI: 1.086-1.415, P=0.012)was a significant risk factor for poorpostoperative QoL in the HCC patients.
Conclusions: Due to its effectson reducing HCC recurrence and improving long-term QoL, liver resection should be the first choice for thetreatment of patients with intermediate-stage HCC.