Published online Dec 7, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i45.17206
Revised: April 19, 2014
Accepted: July 22, 2014
Published online: December 7, 2014
AIM: To compare conventional transarterial chemoembolization (c-TACE) with microsphere embolization in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: We searched PubMed, Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library for trials assessing the efficacy and safety of c-TACE in comparison with those of yttrium-90 microsphere or drug-eluting bead embolization from January 2004 to December 2013. Overall survival rate (OSR), tumor response [complete response, partial response (PR), stable disease (SD), progressive disease (PD)], α-fetoprotein (AFP) response, progression rate and complications were compared and analyzed. Pooled ORs with 95%CI were calculated using either the fixed-effects model or random-effects model. All statistical analyses were conducted using the Review Manager (version 5.1.) from the Cochrane collaboration.
RESULTS: Thirteen trials were identified, including a total of 1834 patients; 1233 were treated with c-TACE, 377 underwent yttrium-90 microsphere embolization and 224 underwent drug-eluting bead embolization. The meta-analysis with either the random-effects model or fixed-effects model indicated that microsphere embolization was associated with significantly higher OSRs compared with those of c-TACE (OR1-year = 1.38, 95%CI1-year: 1.05-1.82; OR2-year = 2.88, 95%CI2-year: 1.18-7.05; OR3-year = 2.15, 95%CI3-year: 1.18-3.91). The complete tumor response rates of patients who underwent microspheres embolization were significantly higher than those of patients treated with c-TACE (OR = 2.19, 95%CI: 1.31-3.64). The tumor progression rate after microsphere embolization was markedly lower than that after c-TACE (OR = 0.56, 95%CI: 0.39-0.81). There was no significant difference between microsphere embolization and c-TACE in PR (OR = 0.73, 95%CI: 0.47-1.15), SD (OR = 1.07, 95%CI: 0.79-1.44), PD (OR = 0.75, 95%CI: 0.33-1.68), AFP response (OR = 1.38, 95%CI: 0.64-2.94) and complications (OR = 0.68, 95%CI: 0.46-1.00).
CONCLUSION: Our analysis indicated that microsphere embolization was associated with superior survival and treatment response in comparison with c-TACE in the treatment of patients with HCC.
Core tip: Microsphere embolization has been performed more and more widely for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Whether microsphere embolization or conventional transarterial chemoembolization (c-TACE) is the better choice has been debated. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis to comprehensively compare the efficacy and safety of microspheres embolization with those of c-TACE in HCC. Our analysis indicated that microsphere embolization was associated with superior survival and treatment response in comparison with c-TACE in patients with HCC. We hope that the comparison of these treatments could help stratify the benefits of treatment choices for patients with HCC.