Liver Neoplasms
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Publication
Journal: CA: a cancer journal for clinicians
May/4/2015
Abstract
Cancer constitutes an enormous burden on society in more and less economically developed countries alike. The occurrence of cancer is increasing because of the growth and aging of the population, as well as an increasing prevalence of established risk factors such as smoking, overweight, physical inactivity, and changing reproductive patterns associated with urbanization and economic development. Based on GLOBOCAN estimates, about 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million deaths occurred in 2012 worldwide. Over the years, the burden has shifted to less developed countries, which currently account for about 57% of cases and 65% of cancer deaths worldwide. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among males in both more and less developed countries, and has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among females in more developed countries; breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among females in less developed countries. Other leading causes of cancer death in more developed countries include colorectal cancer among males and females and prostate cancer among males. In less developed countries, liver and stomach cancer among males and cervical cancer among females are also leading causes of cancer death. Although incidence rates for all cancers combined are nearly twice as high in more developed than in less developed countries in both males and females, mortality rates are only 8% to 15% higher in more developed countries. This disparity reflects regional differences in the mix of cancers, which is affected by risk factors and detection practices, and/or the availability of treatment. Risk factors associated with the leading causes of cancer death include tobacco use (lung, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer), overweight/obesity and physical inactivity (breast and colorectal cancer), and infection (liver, stomach, and cervical cancer). A substantial portion of cancer cases and deaths could be prevented by broadly applying effective prevention measures, such as tobacco control, vaccination, and the use of early detection tests.
Publication
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
July/28/2008
Abstract
BACKGROUND
No effective systemic therapy exists for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. A preliminary study suggested that sorafenib, an oral multikinase inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, the platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and Raf may be effective in hepatocellular carcinoma.
METHODS
In this multicenter, phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 602 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who had not received previous systemic treatment to receive either sorafenib (at a dose of 400 mg twice daily) or placebo. Primary outcomes were overall survival and the time to symptomatic progression. Secondary outcomes included the time to radiologic progression and safety.
RESULTS
At the second planned interim analysis, 321 deaths had occurred, and the study was stopped. Median overall survival was 10.7 months in the sorafenib group and 7.9 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio in the sorafenib group, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.55 to 0.87; P<0.001). There was no significant difference between the two groups in the median time to symptomatic progression (4.1 months vs. 4.9 months, respectively, P=0.77). The median time to radiologic progression was 5.5 months in the sorafenib group and 2.8 months in the placebo group (P<0.001). Seven patients in the sorafenib group (2%) and two patients in the placebo group (1%) had a partial response; no patients had a complete response. Diarrhea, weight loss, hand-foot skin reaction, and hypophosphatemia were more frequent in the sorafenib group.
CONCLUSIONS
In patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, median survival and the time to radiologic progression were nearly 3 months longer for patients treated with sorafenib than for those given placebo. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00105443.)
Publication
Journal: CA: a cancer journal for clinicians
July/19/2016
Abstract
With increasing incidence and mortality, cancer is the leading cause of death in China and is a major public health problem. Because of China's massive population (1.37 billion), previous national incidence and mortality estimates have been limited to small samples of the population using data from the 1990s or based on a specific year. With high-quality data from an additional number of population-based registries now available through the National Central Cancer Registry of China, the authors analyzed data from 72 local, population-based cancer registries (2009-2011), representing 6.5% of the population, to estimate the number of new cases and cancer deaths for 2015. Data from 22 registries were used for trend analyses (2000-2011). The results indicated that an estimated 4292,000 new cancer cases and 2814,000 cancer deaths would occur in China in 2015, with lung cancer being the most common incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer death. Stomach, esophageal, and liver cancers were also commonly diagnosed and were identified as leading causes of cancer death. Residents of rural areas had significantly higher age-standardized (Segi population) incidence and mortality rates for all cancers combined than urban residents (213.6 per 100,000 vs 191.5 per 100,000 for incidence; 149.0 per 100,000 vs 109.5 per 100,000 for mortality, respectively). For all cancers combined, the incidence rates were stable during 2000 through 2011 for males (+0.2% per year; P = .1), whereas they increased significantly (+2.2% per year; P < .05) among females. In contrast, the mortality rates since 2006 have decreased significantly for both males (-1.4% per year; P < .05) and females (-1.1% per year; P < .05). Many of the estimated cancer cases and deaths can be prevented through reducing the prevalence of risk factors, while increasing the effectiveness of clinical care delivery, particularly for those living in rural areas and in disadvantaged populations.
Publication
Journal: Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)
May/11/2011
Publication
Journal: Gastroenterology
July/23/2007
Abstract
Primary liver cancer, which consists predominantly of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and the third most common cause of cancer mortality. HCC has several interesting epidemiologic features including dynamic temporal trends; marked variations among geographic regions, racial and ethnic groups, and between men and women; and the presence of several well-documented environmental potentially preventable risk factors. Moreover, there is a growing understanding on the molecular mechanisms inducing hepatocarcinogenesis, which almost never occurs in healthy liver, but the cancer risk increases sharply in response to chronic liver injury at the cirrhosis stage. A detailed understanding of epidemiologic factors and molecular mechanisms associated with HCC ultimately could improve our current concepts for screening and treatment of this disease.
Publication
Journal: Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)
December/8/2005
Publication
Journal: The Lancet. Oncology
January/12/2009
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Most cases of hepatocellular carcinoma occur in the Asia-Pacific region, where chronic hepatitis B infection is an important aetiological factor. Assessing the efficacy and safety of new therapeutic options in an Asia-Pacific population is thus important. We did a multinational phase III, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of sorafenib in patients from the Asia-Pacific region with advanced (unresectable or metastatic) hepatocellular carcinoma.
METHODS
Between Sept 20, 2005, and Jan 31, 2007, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who had not received previous systemic therapy and had Child-Pugh liver function class A, were randomly assigned to receive either oral sorafenib (400 mg) or placebo twice daily in 6-week cycles, with efficacy measured at the end of each 6-week period. Eligible patients were stratified by the presence or absence of macroscopic vascular invasion or extrahepatic spread (or both), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and geographical region. Randomisation was done centrally and in a 2:1 ratio by means of an interactive voice-response system. There was no predefined primary endpoint; overall survival, time to progression (TTP), time to symptomatic progression (TTSP), disease control rate (DCR), and safety were assessed. Efficacy analyses were done by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00492752.
RESULTS
271 patients from 23 centres in China, South Korea, and Taiwan were enrolled in the study. Of these, 226 patients were randomly assigned to the experimental group (n=150) or to the placebo group (n=76). Median overall survival was 6.5 months (95% CI 5.56-7.56) in patients treated with sorafenib, compared with 4.2 months (3.75-5.46) in those who received placebo (hazard ratio [HR] 0.68 [95% CI 0.50-0.93]; p=0.014). Median TTP was 2.8 months (2.63-3.58) in the sorafenib group compared with 1.4 months (1.35-1.55) in the placebo group (HR 0.57 [0.42-0.79]; p=0.0005). The most frequently reported grade 3/4 drug-related adverse events in the 149 assessable patients treated with sorafenib were hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR; 16 patients [10.7%]), diarrhoea (nine patients [6.0%]), and fatigue (five patients [3.4%]). The most common adverse events resulting in dose reductions were HFSR (17 patients [11.4%]) and diarrhoea (11 patients [7.4%]); these adverse events rarely led to discontinuation.
CONCLUSIONS
Sorafenib is effective for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma in patients from the Asia-Pacific region, and is well tolerated. Taken together with data from the Sorafenib Hepatocellular Carcinoma Assessment Randomised Protocol (SHARP) trial, sorafenib seems to be an appropriate option for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
Publication
Journal: Lancet (London, England)
February/11/2004
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cause of cancer, and its incidence is increasing worldwide because of the dissemination of hepatitis B and C virus infection. Patients with cirrhosis are at the highest risk and should be monitored every 6 months. Surveillance can lead to diagnosis at early stages, when the tumour might be curable by resection, liver transplantation, or percutaneous treatment. In the West and Japan, these treatments can be applied to 30% of patients, and result in 5-year survival rates higher than 50%. Resection is indicated among patients who have one tumour and well-preserved liver function. Liver transplantation benefits patients who have decompensated cirrhosis and one tumour smaller than 5 cm or three nodules smaller than 3 cm, but donor shortage greatly limits its applicability. This difficulty might be overcome by living donation. Most HCC patients are diagnosed at advanced stages and receive palliative treatments, which have been assessed in the setting of 63 randomised controlled trials during the past 25 years. Meta-analysis shows that only chemoembolisation improves survival in well-selected patients with unresectable HCC.
Publication
Journal: Journal of hepatology
September/10/2012
Publication
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
April/10/1996
Abstract
BACKGROUND
The role of orthotopic liver transplantation in the treatment of patients with cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma is controversial, and determining which patients are likely to have a good outcome after liver transplantation is difficult.
METHODS
We studied 48 patients with cirrhosis who had small, unresectable hepatocellular carcinomas and who underwent liver transplantation. In 94 percent of the patients, the cirrhosis was related to infection with hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, or both. The presence of tumor was confirmed by biopsy or serum alpha-fetoprotein assay. The criteria for eligibility for transplantation were the presence of a tumor 5 cm or less in diameter in patients with single hepatocellular carcinomas and no more than three tumor nodules, each 3 cm or less in diameter, in patients with multiple tumors. Thirty-three patients with sufficient hepatic function underwent treatment for the tumor, mainly chemoembolization, before transplantation. After liver transplantation, the patients were followed prospectively for a median of 26 months (range, 9 to 54). No anticancer treatment was given after transplantation.
RESULTS
The overall mortality rate was 17 percent. After four years, the actuarial survival rate was 75 percent and the rate of recurrence-free survival was 83 percent. Hepatocellular carcinoma recurred in four patients (8 percent). The overall and recurrence-free survival rates at four years among the 35 patients (73 percent of the total) who met the predetermined criteria for the selection of small hepatocellular carcinomas at pathological review of small hepatocellular carcinomas at pathological review of the explanted liver wer 85 percent and 92 percent, respectively, whereas the rates in the 13 patients (27 percent) whose tumors exceeded these limits were 50 percent and 59 percent, respectively (P=0.01 for overall survival; P=0.002 for recurrence-free survival). In this group of 48 patients with early-stage tumors, tumor-node-metastasis status, the number of tumors, the serum alphafetoprotein concentration, treatment received before transplantation, and 10 other variables were not significantly correlated with survival.
CONCLUSIONS
Liver transplantation is an effective treatment for small, unresectable hepatocellular carcinomas in patients with cirrhosis.
Publication
Journal: Lancet (London, England)
April/9/2012
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the sixth most prevalent cancer and the third most frequent cause of cancer-related death. Patients with cirrhosis are at highest risk of developing this malignant disease, and ultrasonography every 6 months is recommended. Surveillance with ultrasonography allows diagnosis at early stages when the tumour might be curable by resection, liver transplantation, or ablation, and 5-year survival higher than 50% can be achieved. Patients with small solitary tumours and very well preserved liver function are the best candidates for surgical resection. Liver transplantation is most beneficial for individuals who are not good candidates for resection, especially those within Milano criteria (solitary tumour ≤5 cm and up to three nodules ≤3 cm). Donor shortage greatly limits its applicability. Percutaneous ablation is the most frequently used treatment but its effectiveness is limited by tumour size and localisation. In asymptomatic patients with multifocal disease without vascular invasion or extrahepatic spread not amenable to curative treatments, chemoembolisation can provide survival benefit. Findings of randomised trials of sorafenib have shown survival benefits for individuals with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, suggesting that molecular-targeted therapies could be effective in this chemoresistant cancer. Research is active in the area of pathogenesis and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Publication
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
October/18/2011
Publication
Journal: Nature
June/26/2006
Abstract
Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) transcription factors and the signalling pathways that activate them are central coordinators of innate and adaptive immune responses. More recently, it has become clear that NF-kappaB signalling also has a critical role in cancer development and progression. NF-kappaB provides a mechanistic link between inflammation and cancer, and is a major factor controlling the ability of both pre-neoplastic and malignant cells to resist apoptosis-based tumour-surveillance mechanisms. NF-kappaB might also regulate tumour angiogenesis and invasiveness, and the signalling pathways that mediate its activation provide attractive targets for new chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic approaches.
Publication
Journal: Nature medicine
August/10/2005
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes chronic liver diseases and is a global public health problem. Detailed analyses of HCV have been hampered by the lack of viral culture systems. Subgenomic replicons of the JFH1 genotype 2a strain cloned from an individual with fulminant hepatitis replicate efficiently in cell culture. Here we show that the JFH1 genome replicates efficiently and supports secretion of viral particles after transfection into a human hepatoma cell line (Huh7). Particles have a density of about 1.15-1.17 g/ml and a spherical morphology with an average diameter of about 55 nm. Secreted virus is infectious for Huh7 cells and infectivity can be neutralized by CD81-specific antibodies and by immunoglobulins from chronically infected individuals. The cell culture-generated HCV is infectious for chimpanzee. This system provides a powerful tool for studying the viral life cycle and developing antiviral strategies.
Publication
Journal: Journal of hepatology
February/13/2002
Publication
Journal: Molecular and cellular biology
September/25/1996
Abstract
Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is induced in cells exposed to hypoxia or ischemia. Neovascularization stimulated by VEGF occurs in several important clinical contexts, including myocardial ischemia, retinal disease, and tumor growth. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a heterodimeric basic helix-loop-helix protein that activates transcription of the human erythropoietin gene in hypoxic cells. Here we demonstrate the involvement of HIF-1 in the activation of VEGF transcription. VEGF 5'-flanking sequences mediated transcriptional activation of reporter gene expression in hypoxic Hep3B cells. A 47-bp sequence located 985 to 939 bp 5' to the VEGF transcription initiation site mediated hypoxia-inducible reporter gene expression directed by a simian virus 40 promoter element that was otherwise minimally responsive to hypoxia. When reporters containing VEGF sequences, in the context of the native VEGF or heterologous simian virus 40 promoter, were cotransfected with expression vectors encoding HIF-1alpha and HIF-1beta (ARNT [aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator]), reporter gene transcription was much greater in both hypoxic and nonhypoxic cells than in cells transfected with the reporter alone. A HIF-1 binding site was demonstrated in the 47-bp hypoxia response element, and a 3-bp substitution eliminated the ability of the element to bind HIF-1 and to activate transcription in response to hypoxia and/or recombinant HIF-1. Cotransfection of cells with an expression vector encoding a dominant negative form of HIF-1alpha inhibited the activation of reporter transcription in hypoxic cells in a dose-dependent manner. VEGF mRNA was not induced by hypoxia in mutant cells that do not express the HIF-1beta (ARNT) subunit. These findings implicate HIF-1 in the activation of VEGF transcription in hypoxic cells.
Publication
Journal: Science (New York, N.Y.)
July/25/1999
Abstract
An estimated 170 million persons worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major cause of chronic liver disease. Despite increasing knowledge of genome structure and individual viral proteins, studies on virus replication and pathogenesis have been hampered by the lack of reliable and efficient cell culture systems. A full-length consensus genome was cloned from viral RNA isolated from an infected human liver and used to construct subgenomic selectable replicons. Upon transfection into a human hepatoma cell line, these RNAs were found to replicate to high levels, permitting metabolic radiolabeling of viral RNA and proteins. This work defines the structure of HCV replicons functional in cell culture and provides the basis for a long-sought cellular system that should allow detailed molecular studies of HCV and the development of antiviral drugs.
Publication
Journal: Gastroenterology
September/5/2007
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
microRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression negatively. Although a role for aberrant miRNA expression in cancer has been postulated, the pathophysiologic role and relevance of aberrantly expressed miRNA to tumor biology has not been established.
METHODS
We evaluated the expression of miRNA in human hepatocellular cancer (HCC) by expression profiling, and defined a target gene and biologically functional effect of an up-regulated miRNA.
RESULTS
miR-21 was noted to be highly overexpressed in HCC tumors and cell lines in expression profiling studies using a miRNA microarray. Inhibition of miR-21 in cultured HCC cells increased expression of the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) tumor suppressor, and decreased tumor cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. In contrast-enhanced miR-21 expression by transfection with precursor miR-21 increased tumor cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Moreover, an increase in cell migration was observed in normal human hepatocytes transfected with precursor miR-21. PTEN was shown to be a direct target of miR-21, and to contribute to miR-21 effects on cell invasion. Modulation of miR-21 altered focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation and expression of matrix metalloproteases 2 and 9, both downstream mediators of PTEN involved in cell migration and invasion.
CONCLUSIONS
Aberrant expression of miR-21 can contribute to HCC growth and spread by modulating PTEN expression and PTEN-dependent pathways involved in mediating phenotypic characteristics of cancer cells such as cell growth, migration, and invasion.
Publication
Journal: Annals of surgery
October/18/1999
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
There is a need for clearly defined and widely applicable clinical criteria for the selection of patients who may benefit from hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer. Such criteria would also be useful for stratification of patients in clinical trials for this disease.
METHODS
Clinical, pathologic, and outcome data for 1001 consecutive patients undergoing liver resection for metastatic colorectal cancer between July 1985 and October 1998 were examined. These resections included 237 trisegmentectomies, 394 lobectomies, and 370 resections encompassing less than a lobe. The surgical mortality rate was 2.8%.
RESULTS
The 5-year survival rate was 37%, and the 10-year survival rate was 22%. Seven factors were found to be significant and independent predictors of poor long-term outcome by multivariate analysis: positive margin (p = 0.004), extrahepatic disease (p = 0.003), node-positive primary (p = 0.02), disease-free interval from primary to metastases <12 months (p = 0.03), number of hepatic tumors>>1 (p = 0.0004), largest hepatic tumor>>5 cm (p = 0.01), and carcinoembryonic antigen level>>200 ng/ml (p = 0.01). When the last five of these criteria were used in a preoperative scoring system, assigning one point for each criterion, the total score was highly predictive of outcome (p < 0.0001). No patient with a score of 5 was a long-term survivor.
CONCLUSIONS
Resection of hepatic colorectal metastases may produce long-term survival and cure. Long-term outcome can be predicted from five criteria that are readily available for all patients considered for resection. Patients with up to two criteria can have a favorable outcome. Patients with three, four, or five criteria should be considered for experimental adjuvant trials. Studies of preoperative staging techniques or of adjuvant therapies should consider using such a score for stratification of patients.
Publication
Journal: Nature
December/13/2010
Abstract
Metastasis, the dissemination and growth of neoplastic cells in an organ distinct from that in which they originated, is the most common cause of death in cancer patients. This is particularly true for pancreatic cancers, where most patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease and few show a sustained response to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Whether the dismal prognosis of patients with pancreatic cancer compared to patients with other types of cancer is a result of late diagnosis or early dissemination of disease to distant organs is not known. Here we rely on data generated by sequencing the genomes of seven pancreatic cancer metastases to evaluate the clonal relationships among primary and metastatic cancers. We find that clonal populations that give rise to distant metastases are represented within the primary carcinoma, but these clones are genetically evolved from the original parental, non-metastatic clone. Thus, genetic heterogeneity of metastases reflects that within the primary carcinoma. A quantitative analysis of the timing of the genetic evolution of pancreatic cancer was performed, indicating at least a decade between the occurrence of the initiating mutation and the birth of the parental, non-metastatic founder cell. At least five more years are required for the acquisition of metastatic ability and patients die an average of two years thereafter. These data provide novel insights into the genetic features underlying pancreatic cancer progression and define a broad time window of opportunity for early detection to prevent deaths from metastatic disease.
Publication
Journal: Nature
May/30/2011
Abstract
Genomic analysis provides insights into the role of copy number variation in disease, but most methods are not designed to resolve mixed populations of cells. In tumours, where genetic heterogeneity is common, very important information may be lost that would be useful for reconstructing evolutionary history. Here we show that with flow-sorted nuclei, whole genome amplification and next generation sequencing we can accurately quantify genomic copy number within an individual nucleus. We apply single-nucleus sequencing to investigate tumour population structure and evolution in two human breast cancer cases. Analysis of 100 single cells from a polygenomic tumour revealed three distinct clonal subpopulations that probably represent sequential clonal expansions. Additional analysis of 100 single cells from a monogenomic primary tumour and its liver metastasis indicated that a single clonal expansion formed the primary tumour and seeded the metastasis. In both primary tumours, we also identified an unexpectedly abundant subpopulation of genetically diverse 'pseudodiploid' cells that do not travel to the metastatic site. In contrast to gradual models of tumour progression, our data indicate that tumours grow by punctuated clonal expansions with few persistent intermediates.
Publication
Journal: Seminars in liver disease
November/3/1999
Abstract
The classifications of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) currently used are based on prognostic factors obtained from studies performed years ago when most tumors were diagnosed at advanced stages and the survival rates were substantially poor. Recent investigations have reviewed the survival of early tumors properly selected to receive radical therapies and the natural outcome of nonsurgical HCC patients. These data enable a new staging system to be proposed, the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging classification, that comprises four stages that select the best candidates for the best therapies currently available. Early stage (A) includes patients with asymptomatic early tumors suitable for radical therapies--resection, transplantation or percutaneous treatments. Intermediate stage (B) comprises patients with asymptomatic multinodular HCC. Advanced stage (C) includes patients with symptomatic tumors and/or an invasive tumoral pattern (vascular invasion/extrahepatic spread). Stage B and C patients may receive palliative treatments/new agents in the setting of phase II investigations or randomized controlled trials. End-stage disease (D) contain patients with extremely grim prognosis (Okuda stage III or PST 3-4) that should merely receive symptomatic treatment.
Publication
Journal: Nature
February/15/2007
Abstract
Although cancer arises from a combination of mutations in oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes, the extent to which tumour suppressor gene loss is required for maintaining established tumours is poorly understood. p53 is an important tumour suppressor that acts to restrict proliferation in response to DNA damage or deregulation of mitogenic oncogenes, by leading to the induction of various cell cycle checkpoints, apoptosis or cellular senescence. Consequently, p53 mutations increase cell proliferation and survival, and in some settings promote genomic instability and resistance to certain chemotherapies. To determine the consequences of reactivating the p53 pathway in tumours, we used RNA interference (RNAi) to conditionally regulate endogenous p53 expression in a mosaic mouse model of liver carcinoma. We show that even brief reactivation of endogenous p53 in p53-deficient tumours can produce complete tumour regressions. The primary response to p53 was not apoptosis, but instead involved the induction of a cellular senescence program that was associated with differentiation and the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines. This program, although producing only cell cycle arrest in vitro, also triggered an innate immune response that targeted the tumour cells in vivo, thereby contributing to tumour clearance. Our study indicates that p53 loss can be required for the maintenance of aggressive carcinomas, and illustrates how the cellular senescence program can act together with the innate immune system to potently limit tumour growth.
Publication
Journal: Lancet (London, England)
June/17/2002
Abstract
BACKGROUND
There is no standard treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Arterial embolisation is widely used, but evidence of survival benefits is lacking.
METHODS
We did a randomised controlled trial in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma not suitable for curative treatment, of Child-Pugh class A or B and Okuda stage I or II, to assess the survival benefits of regularly repeated arterial embolisation (gelatin sponge) or chemoembolisation (gelatin sponge plus doxorubicin) compared with conservative treatment. 903 patients were assessed, and 112 (12%) patients were finally included in the study. The primary endpoint was survival. Analyses were by intention to treat.
RESULTS
The trial was stopped when the ninth sequential inspection showed that chemoembolisation had survival benefits compared with conservative treatment (hazard ratio of death 0.47 [95% CI 0.25-0.91], p=0.025). 25 of 37 patients assigned embolisation, 21 of 40 assigned chemoembolisation, and 25 of 35 assigned conservative treatment died. Survival probabilities at 1 year and 2 years were 75% and 50% for embolisation; 82% and 63% for chemoembolisation, and 63% and 27% for control (chemoembolisation vs control p=0.009). Chemoembolisation induced objective responses sustained for at least 6 months in 35% (14)of cases, and was associated with a significantly lower rate of portal-vein invasion than conservative treatment. Treatment allocation was the only variable independently related to survival (odds ratio 0.45 [95% CI 0.25-0.81], p=0.02).
CONCLUSIONS
Chemoembolisation improved survival of stringently selected patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.
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