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Radio-frequency thermal ablation (RFTA) of small hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis. Experience at a single tertiary referral center

  • Authors: Licata, A; Di Marco, V; Parisi, P; Latteri, F; Nebbia, ME; Cabibbo, G; Di Bona, D; Prinzi, G; Li Petri, S; Sandonato, L; Latteri, MA; Craxì, A; Cammà, C;
  • Publication year: 2005
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: hepatocellular carcinoma, thermal ablation;
  • OA Link:


AIM: Radio-frequency thermal ablation (RFTA) may prolong the survival of patients with small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate efficacy and safety of RFTA. METHODS: We performed the Kaplan-Meier analysis to estimate the survival rate in 69 consecutive patients with HCC (mean age 66+/-6.5 years; 44/25 male/female; 56 Child-Pugh class A and 13 Child-Pugh class B) treated by RFTA. A single lesion was observed in 60/69 (87%), two lesions in 8/69 (11.6 %), and 3 lesions in 1/69 (1.4 %) of patients. The tumor size was = or <3 cm in 60/69 (87%). RESULTS: Twenty-two patients died during follow-up. Overall survival rates were 81%, 66%, and 46% at 1-, 2-, and 3-years, respectively. Cancer-free survival rates were 64% at 1 year, 30% at 2 years and 25% at 3 years. The 3-years rate of appearance of separate new lesions and local recurrence were 27.5% (19/69) and 26 % (18/69). CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that patients with HCC and compensated cirrhosis may benefit from RFTA treatment, especially for tumors = or <3 cm. Nevertheless, the high rate of recurrence (both local and distant) points out the palliative role of this therapy.