Regional Strategies for Managing Hepatocellular Carcinoma
March 01, 2000
In his review, Dr. Venook correctly argues that, in the majority of pa;tients, hepatocellular carcinoma results from underlying liver disease; the most common culprit is cirrhosis, which, in turn, is frequently related to hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C exposure and alcohol abuse. Given that patient outcomes are determined by the “interplay between tumor growth and adequate hepatic reserve,” and that most patients with hepatocellular carcinoma eventually die of liver failure, Dr. Venook argues that there is a good rationale for locoregional tumor control of hepatocellular carcinoma. Locoregional therapies may include hepatic intraarterial (HIA) chemotherapy, transarterial chemoembolization, Lipiodol chemo-embolization, radiation therapy (conformal external radiation therapy or intraarterially delivered radiation), or ablative procedures. These therapies are less aggressive than conventional resectional therapies, such as cryosurg-ery, percutaneous ethanol injection, radiofrequency ablation, and other intratumoral therapies.