Local Arterial Therapies in the Management of Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Samdeep K. Mouli, Laura W. Goff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Most patients with hepatocellular carcinoma present with intermediate to advanced disease, where curative therapies are no longer an option. These patients with intermediate to advanced disease represent a heterogeneous population with regard to tumor burden, liver function, and performance status. While the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system offers guidelines for the management of these patients, strict adherence to these guidelines may limit treatment options for these patients. Several locoregional therapies exist for these patients, including conventional transarterial chemoembolization (cTACE), transarterial embolization (TAE), drug-eluting embolization (DEE), and radioembolization. Evidence is also emerging for the role of radiation therapy including most notably stereotactic body radiation therapy and proton therapy, although at the current time, clinical trial participation is encouraged. While cTACE is traditionally recommended for BCLC B disease, both cTACE and radioembolization are increasingly used for patients with intermediate disease, as well as in select patients with BCLC A and C disease. TAE and DEE are limited in their use currently, due to lack of clear survival benefits or clinical advantages over cTACE. While several studies have demonstrated similar OS between cTACE and radioembolization, radioembolization provides a longer time to progression and fewer toxicities compared to cTACE. This is particularly relevant in the setting of advanced BCLC B and early BCLC C disease, where patients may have limited reserve. Radioembolization also has additional roles as an alternative to ablation, inducing liver hypertrophy, treating patients with PVT, and downstaging lesions to transplant. Ongoing studies will further define the role of locoregional treatment potentially in combination with and in light of developments in systemic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number67
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Chemoembolization
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Interventional radiology
  • Radioembolization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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