Segmental Yttrium-90 Radioembolization versus Segmental Chemoembolization for Localized Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Results of a Single-Center, Retrospective, Propensity Score-Matched Study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of vascular and interventional radiology : JVIR (2017)


PURPOSE: To compare segmental radioembolization with segmental chemoembolization for localized, unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) not amenable to ablation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a single-center, retrospective study (2010-2015), 101 patients with 132 tumors underwent segmental radioembolization, and 77 patients with 103 tumors underwent segmental doxorubicin-based drug-eluting embolic or conventional chemoembolization. Patients receiving chemoembolization had worse performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0, 76% vs 56%; P = .003) and Child-Pugh class (class A, 65% vs 52%; P = .053); patients receiving radioembolization had larger tumors (32 mm vs 26 mm; P < .001), more infiltrative tumors (23% vs 9%; P = .01), and more vascular invasion (18% vs 1%; P < .001). Toxicity, tumor response, tumor progression, and survival were compared. Analyses were weighted using a propensity score (PS).

RESULTS: Toxicity rates were low, without significant differences. Index and overall complete response rates were 92% and 84% for radioembolization and 74% and 58% for chemoembolization (P = .001 and P < .001). Index tumor progression at 1 and 2 years was 8% and 15% in the radioembolization group and 30% and 42% in the chemoembolization group (P < .001). Median progression-free and overall survival were 564 days and 1,198 days in the radioembolization group and 271 days and 1,043 days in the chemoembolization group (PS-adjusted P = .002 and P = .35; censored by transplant PS-adjusted P < .001 and P = .064).

CONCLUSIONS: Segmental radioembolization demonstrates higher complete response rates and local tumor control compared with segmental chemoembolization for HCC, with similar toxicity profiles. Superior progression-free survival was achieved.