Ablative treatments currently represent the first-line option for the treatment of early stage unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Furthermore, they are effective as bridging/downstaging therapies before orthotopic liver transplantation. Contraindications based on size, number, and location of nodules are quite variable in literature and strictly dependent on local expertise. Among ablative therapies, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has gained a pivotal role due to its efficacy, with a reported 5-year survival rate of 40%-70%, and safety. Although survival outcomes are similar to percutaneous ethanol injection, the lower local recurrence rate stands for a wider application of RFA in hepato-oncology. Moreover, RFA seems to be even more cost-effective than liver resection for very early HCC (single nodule ≤ 2 cm) and in the presence of two or three nodules ≤ 3 cm. There is increasing evidence that combining RFA to transarterial chemoembolization may increase the therapeutic benefit in larger HCCs without increasing the major complication rate, but more robust prospective data is still needed to validate these pivotal findings. Among other thermal treatments, microwave ablation (MWA) uses high frequency electromagnetic energy to induce tissue death via coagulation necrosis. In comparison to RFA, MWA has several theoretical advantages such as a broader zone of active heating, higher temperatures within the targeted area in a shorter treatment time and the lack of heat-sink effect. The safety concerns raised on the risks of this procedure, due to the broader and less predictable necrosis areas, have been recently overcome. However, whether MWA ability to generate a larger ablation zone will translate into a survival gain remains unknown. Other treatments, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound ablation, laser ablation, and cryoablation, are less investigated but showed promising results in early HCC patients and could be a valuable therapeutic option in the next future.
|Titolo:||Local ablative treatments for hepatocellular carcinoma: An updated review|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|