Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Combination Therapy Improves Survival Time For Patients With More Advanced Liver Cancer, Study Suggests

Date:
April 8, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Combining a type of chemotherapy with radiothermal therapy resulted in longer survival time for patients with advanced liver cancer, compared to receiving the therapies alone.

Combining a type of chemotherapy with radiothermal therapy resulted in longer survival time for patients with advanced liver cancer, compared to receiving the therapies alone, according to a new study.

Related Articles


The incidence of liver cancer is increasing worldwide. Most liver cancers are diagnosed at intermediate or advanced stages, and until now, no standard therapy has been established for treatment of liver cancer, according to background information in the article.

The therapy called transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) slows tumor progression and improves survival by combining the effect of targeted chemotherapy with that of blocking the blood supply to the tumor. Radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA) is an emerging technology that typically is performed by advancing a specially designed probe into the tumor and applying radiofrequency energy. However, both TACE and RFA have limitations, with neither resulting in adequate control of liver cancer tumors larger than 3 cm (1.2 inches). TACE combined with RFA therapy has been used for patients with large liver cancer tumors, but the survival benefits are not known.

Bao-Quan Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from Shandong University, Jinan, China, conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the long-term benefits of combining TACE and RFA therapies for liver cancer tumors larger than 3 cm. The trial was conducted from January 2001 to May 2004 and included 291 patients at a single center in China. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with combined TACE-RFA (n = 96), TACE alone (n = 95), or RFA alone (n = 100).

At the end of follow-up, 80 patients in the TACE group (84 percent), 84 in the RFA group (84 percent), and 66 in the TACE-RFA group (69 percent) had died. The lower rate of death in the TACE-RFA group was the result of fewer deaths due to tumor progression in this group than in the TACE group or the RFA group. Median (midpoint) survival times were 24 months in the TACE group, 22 months in the RFA group, and 37 months in TACE-RFA group. Survival rates were significantly better in the TACE-RFA group than in the TACE or RFA group.

For patients with a type of liver cancer known as uninodular or multinodular, overall survival was statistically significantly better in the TACE-RFA group than in the RFA group, and TACE group, respectively.

Thirty-three patients (35 percent) achieved an objective response to treatment that was sustained for at least six months in the TACE group, 36 (36 percent) in the RFA group, and 52 (54 percent) in the TACE-RFA group.

"The current study demonstrates that combination therapy with TACE and RFA was an effective and safe treatment that may improve long-term survival for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma [liver cancer] larger than 3 cm," the authors conclude.

Journal reference: JAMA. 2008;299[14]:1669-1677.

Editorial: Expanding the Treatment Options for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In an accompanying editorial, Andrew X. Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, M.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, write that these findings are promising.

"The study by Cheng et al provides initial evidence to support the use of TACE-RFA as a new treatment option in highly selected patients with unresectable [unable to be removed by surgery] hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC]. ... However, despite the positive findings in this study, the exact role for TACE-RFA in the treatment of patients with unresectable HCC remains a controversial and unresolved issue, similar to the situation for many of the interventional-based therapies."

Reference for editorial: JAMA. 2008;299[14]:1716-1717.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Combination Therapy Improves Survival Time For Patients With More Advanced Liver Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408163302.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, April 8). Combination Therapy Improves Survival Time For Patients With More Advanced Liver Cancer, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408163302.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Combination Therapy Improves Survival Time For Patients With More Advanced Liver Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408163302.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins