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.

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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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