Clinical Research Papers:
Hepatic resection versus transarterial chemoembolization for the initial treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis
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Xingshun Qi1,*, Diya Wang2,*, Chunping Su3, Hongyu Li1 and Xiaozhong Guo1
1 Department of Gastroenterology, General Hospital of Shenyang Military Area, Shenyang, China
2 Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China
3 Library of Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China
* These authors have contributed equally to this work
Xiaozhong Guo, email:
Xingshun Qi, email:
Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma; resection; chemoembolization; BCLC stage; survival
Received: March 20, 2015 Accepted: April 23, 2015 Published: May 14, 2015
Background & Aims: According to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system, hepatic resection and transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) should be recommended in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within and beyond the BCLC stage A, respectively. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the overall survival between HCC patients undergoing hepatic resection and TACE.
Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane library databases were searched. All relevant studies were considered, if they reported the survival data in HCC patients undergoing hepatic resection and TACE. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for the comparison of cumulative overall survival. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95%CIs were calculated for the comparison of 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates. Subgroup analyses were performed according to the BCLC stages and portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT). Sensitivity analyses were performed in moderate- and high-quality studies and in studies published after 2005.
Results: Fifty of 2029 retrieved papers were included. One, 15, and 34 studies were of high-, moderate-, and low-quality, respectively. The overall meta-analysis demonstrated a statistically significantly higher overall survival in hepatic resection group than in TACE group (HR=0.60, 95%CI=0.55-0.66). Additionally, 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were statistically significantly higher in hepatic resection group than in TACE group (OR=1.82, 95%CI=1.56-2.14; OR=3.09, 95%CI=2.60-3.67; OR=3.48, 95%CI=2.83-4.27). The subgroup meta-analyses confirmed the statistical significance in HCC within the BCLC stage A (HR=0.72, 95%CI=0.64-0.80), in HCC beyond the BCLC stage A (HR=0.60, 95%CI=0.51-0.69), in HCC within the BCLC stage B alone (HR=0.48, 95%CI=0.25-0.90), and in HCC with PVTT (HR=0.78, 95%CI=0.68-0.91). The statistical significance was also confirmed by sensitivity analyses in moderate- and high-quality studies (HR=0.62, 95%CI=0.53-0.71) and in studies published after 2005 (HR=0.59, 95%CI=0.53-0.66).
Conclusions: Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis, hepatic resection may be considered in HCC beyond the BCLC stage A. However, given the limitations of study quality, more well-designed randomized controlled trials should be warranted to confirm these findings.
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