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Original Article Comparative Study between Metronomic Chemotherapy and Transarterial Chemoembolization in Patients with Child-Pugh Class B Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Hyun Yang, Myeong Jun Song, Hee Chul Nam, Hae Lim Lee, Sung Won Lee, Do Seon Song, Jeong Won Jang, Si Hyun Bae, Jong Yong Choi, Seung Kew Yoon
Journal of Liver Cancer 2015;15(2):92-99
Published online: September 30, 2015
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding author:  Myeong Jun Song,
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Metronomic (MET) chemotherapy is a treatment characterized by frequent infusion of low doses of chemotherapeutic agent without extended break. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of MET chemotherapy compared with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) in patients with child B class advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Seventy-three patients with child B class advanced HCC were analyzed between April, 2007 and August, 2013 according to two treatment groups: (i) MET chemotherapy group (n=43, Epirubicin 35 mg/body surface area [BSA] every 4 weeks, and cisplatin 15 mg/BSA and 5-fluorouracil 50 mg/BSA weekly for 3 weeks) via an implantable port system with 1 week break. (ii) TACE group (n=30, Adriamycin 20-50 mg) every 4 weeks. Primary endpoint was overall survival (OS).
The median survival times in the MET and TACE groups were 4.5 months and 3.1 months, respectively. The overall survival rate showed significantly better in the MET treatment group than in the TACE group (P=0.039). When the factors affecting patient OS were analyzed, MET chemotherapy (P=0.038, hazard ratio {HR} 0.538 [95% confidence interval {CI} 0.299-0.967]) was independently associated with OS. Larger maximal tumor size, extrahepatic metastasis and advanced stage also were significant factors for OS (P=0.009, HR 1.064 [95% CI 1.014-16.064]; P=0.014, HR 2.120 [95% CI 1.164-3.861]; P=0.019, HR 2.046 [95% CI 1.125-3.720], respectively).
MET chemotherapy showed survival benefit than TACE in patients with child class B advanced HCC. Therefore, MET chemotherapy may be considered as a treatment option for advanced HCC with poor liver function. (J Liver Cancer 2015;15:92-99)

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