External beam radiotherapy for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

Abdel-Rahman O, Elsayed Z, et al.

Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Lofty Elsayed Street, Cairo, Egypt, 11335.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. Mar 2017.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common liver neoplasm, the sixth most common cancer worldwide, and the third most common cause of cancer mortality. Moreover, its incidence has increased dramatically in the past decade. While surgical resection and liver transplantation are the main curative treatments, only around 20% of people with early hepatocellular carcinoma may benefit from these therapies. Current treatment options for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma include various ablative and transarterial therapies in addition to the drug sorafenib.To assess the benefits and harms of external beam radiotherapy in the management of localised unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.We searched the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (OvidSP), Embase (OvidSP), Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science), and clinicaltrials.gov registry. We also checked reference lists of primary original studies and review articles manually for further related articles (cross-references) up to October 6, 2016.Eligible studies included all randomised clinical trials comparing external beam radiotherapy either as a monotherapy or in combination with other systemic or locoregional therapies versus placebo, no treatment, or other systemic or locoregional therapies for people with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. We used a random-effects model as well as a fixed-effect model meta-analysis but in case of discrepancy between the two models (e.g. one giving a significant intervention effect, the other no significant intervention effect), we reported both results; otherwise, we reported only the results from the fixed-effect model meta-analysis. We assessed risk of bias of the included trials using predefined risk of bias domains; assessed risks of random errors with Trial Sequential Analysis; and presented the review results incorporating the methodological quality of the trials using GRADE.


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