Transarterial Chemoembolization Combined with Either Radiofrequency or Microwave Ablation in Management of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 endemic medicine department, faculty of medicine, Cairo University

2 Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology Department, Cairo University, Faculty of medicine, Cairo University


Introduction: Local ablative therapy and trans arterial chemoembolization (TACE) are applied to ablate non resectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Combination of both techniques has proven to be more effective. We aimed to study combined ablation techniques and assess survival benefit comparing TACE with radiofrequency (RFA) versus TACE with microwave (MWA) techniques. Methods: We retrospectively studied 22 patients who were ablated using TACE-RFA and 45 with TACE-MWA. All were classified as Child A-B and lesions did not exceed 5 cm in diameter. TACE was followed within two weeks by either RFA or MWA. We recorded total and partial ablation rates and complication rates. Survival analysis was then performed. Results: TACE-MWA showed a higher tendency to provide complete response rates than TACE-RFA (P 0.06). This was particularly evident with lesions sized 3-5 cm (P 0.01). Rates of complications showed no significant difference between the groups. Overall median survival was 27 months. The overall actuarial probability of survival was 80.1% at 1 year, 55% at 2 years, and 36.3% at 3 years. The recurrence free survival at 1 year, 2years and 3 years for the TACE-RFA group was 70%, 42% and 14% respectively and for TACE-MWA group 81.2%, 65.1% and 65.1% without any significant difference (P 0.1). In relation to the size of focal lesions, no statistically significant difference in the survival rates was detected between the groups. Conclusion: TACE-MWA led to better response rates than TACE-RFA with tumors 3-5 cm, with no difference in survival rates.


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