Stereotactic body radiotherapy versus TACE or RFA as a bridge to transplant in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. An intention-to-treat analysis.

Sapisochin G, Barry A, Doherty M et al.

Multi-Organ Transplant, Toronto General Surgery, Canada; Department of General Surgery. University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Journal of hepatology. Feb 2017.

There is limited information on the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) as a bridge to liver transplantation (LT) for HCC and no study comparing its efficacy to transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). We aimed to ascertain the safety and efficacy of SBRT on an intention-to-treat basis compared with TACE and RFA as a bridge to LT in a large cohort of patients with HCC.Outcomes between groups were compared from the time of listing and from the time of transplant. Between July 2004 and December 2014, 379 patients were treated with either SBRT (n=36, SBRT group), TACE (n=99, TACE group) or RFA (n=244, RFA group).The drop-out rate was similar between groups (16.7% SBRT group vs. 20.2% TACE group and 16.8% RFA group, p=0.7); 30 patients were transplanted in the SBRT group, 79 in the TACE group and 203 in the RFA group. Postoperative complications were similar between groups. Patients in the RFA group had a larger degree of tumor necrosis in the explant. The 1-, 3- and 5-year actuarial patient survival from the time of listing was 83%, 61% and 61% in the SBRT group vs. 86%, 61% and 56% in the TACE group, and 86%, 72% and 61% in the RFA group, p=0.4. The 1-, 3- and 5-year survival from the time of transplant was 83%, 75% and 75% in the SBRT group vs. 96%, 75% and 69% in the TACE group, and 95%, 81% and 73% in the RFA group, p=0.7.In conclusion, SBRT can be safely utilized as a bridge to LT in patients with HCC, as an alternative to conventional bridging therapies.Patients with liver cancer included in the waiting list for liver transplantation are at risk of tumor progression and death. Stereotactic body radiotherapy may be a good alternative to conventional therapies to reduce this risk.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *