Radioembolization for Intermediate-Stage Hepatocellular Carcinoma Maintains Liver Function and Permits Systemic Therapy at Progression

Srirajkumar Ranganathan, Ahmed Gabr, Pouya Entezari, Andrew C. Gordon, Ahsun Riaz, Kush Desai, Bartley Thornburg, Laura Kulik, Aparna Kalyan, Riad Salem, Robert J. Lewandowski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the liver function trends in patients with intermediate-stage (Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer [BCLC] Stage B) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who underwent yttrium-90 transarterial radioembolization (TARE) in response to a growing concern that liver-directed therapies negatively affect liver function and prevent patients with HCC from systemic therapy candidacy. Materials and Methods: An HCC/TARE database (2004–2017) was retrospectively reviewed. Patients with BCLC Stage B/Child–Pugh (CP)-A HCC with laboratory test and imaging data at baseline and for at least 1 month after TARE were included. Follow-ups were at 3-month intervals. CP stage was assessed at each time point. End points included time to persistent CP-B status, time to CP-C status, and median overall survival (OS). Time–to–end point analyses were performed using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: Seventy-four patients (80% men, with a mean age of 63 years) with mostly (62%) bilobar disease underwent 186 TARE treatments (median, 2; range, 1–8). The median time to second TARE was 2.3 months (range, 1.7–6.4 months), and the median times to third and fourth TAREs were 11.7 months (range, 7.5–15 months) and 17.3 months (range, 11.5–23.1 months), respectively. Forty-three (58%) patients developed persistent CP-B HCC at a median time of 15.4 months (95% CI, 9.2–25.3 months); 17 (23%) patients developed CP-C HCC at a median time of 87.2 months (95% CI, 39.8–136.1 months). The median OS censored to transplantation was 30.4 months (95% CI, 22.7–37.4 months). On univariate and multivariate analyses, baseline albumin was a significant prognosticator of OS, whereas baseline albumin and bilirubin were significant prognosticators of time to persistent CP-B HCC and time to CP-C HCC. Conclusions: In patients with CP-A HCC who underwent TARE for BCLC Stage B HCC, the median time to persistent CP-B HCC was 15.4 months. These findings indicate that patients would be candidates for systemic therapy at progression if indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)968-975
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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