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Original Article Outcomes of Liver Resection and Transarterial Chemoembolization in Patients with Multinodular BCLC-A Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Jiwon Yang1orcid , Won-Mook Choi1orcid , Danbi Lee1orcid , Ju Hyun Shim1orcid , Kang Mo Kim1orcid , Young-Suk Lim1orcid , Han Chu Lee1orcid , Deok-Bog Moon2orcid , Dong-Hwan Jung2orcid , Jonggi Choi1orcid

DOI: [Accepted]
Published online: April 3, 2024
1Department of Gastroenterology, Liver Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Corresponding author:  Jonggi Choi,
Received: 3 March 2024   • Revised: 25 March 2024   • Accepted: 25 March 2024
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This study aimed to compare the outcomes of liver resection (LR) and transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) in patients with multinodular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) within the Milan criteria who were not eligible for liver transplantation.
We retrospectively analyzed 483 patients with multinodular HCC within the Milan criteria, who underwent either LR or TACE as an initial therapy between 2013 and 2022. The overall survival (OS) in the entire population and recurrence-free survival (RFS) in patients who underwent LR and TACE and achieved a complete response were analyzed. Propensity score (PS) matching analysis was also used for a fair comparison of outcomes between the two groups.
Among the 483 patients, 107 (22.2%) and 376 (77.8%) underwent LR and TACE, respectively. The median size of the largest tumor was 2.0 cm, and 72.3% of the patients had two HCC lesions. The median OS and RFS were significantly longer in the LR group than in the TACE group (p <0.01 for both). In the multivariate analysis, TACE (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.81 and aHR, 2.41) and large tumor size (aHR, 1.43 and aHR, 1.44) were significantly associated with worse OS and RFS, respectively. The PS-matched analysis also demonstrated that the LR group had significantly longer OS and RFS than the TACE group (PS <0.05).
In this study, LR showed better OS and RFS than TACE in patients with multinodular Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage A HCC. Therefore, LR can be considered an effective treatment option for these patients.

JLC : Journal of Liver Cancer