Surgical resection combined with chemotherapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with tumor thrombus: report of 19 cases.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with tumor thrombus in the main portal vein (MPV), inferior vena cava (IVC), or extrahepatic bile duct (EBD) treated by conventional therapies has been considered poor. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy after surgical resection as an adjuvant therapy or as a treatment for intrahepatic recurrence of HCC with tumor thrombus in MPV, IVC, or EBD. METHODS Nineteen patients with HCC and tumor thrombus in the MPV, IVC, or EBD who underwent hepatectomy with thrombectomy were reviewed retrospectively. RESULTS The overall 3-year survival rate was 48.5%. Two patients with postoperative residual tumor thrombus died within 6 months owing to rapid progression of the residual tumor thrombus. Five patients survived more than 5 years after their operations. Tumors disappeared completely in 3 patients after hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy with a combination of cisplatinum and 5-fluorouracil, and the longest survival period was 17 years and 11 months in a patient with EBD thrombus. CONCLUSIONS If hepatic reserve is satisfactory, an aggressive surgical approach combined with chemotherapy seems to be of benefit for patients having HCC with tumor thrombus in the MPV, IVC, or EBD.

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