Published online May 14, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i18.2205
Peer-review started: February 1, 2021
First decision: February 27, 2021
Revised: March 13, 2021
Accepted: April 21, 2021
Article in press: April 21, 2021
Published online: May 14, 2021
Surgical resection and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) represent two possible strategy in treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Milan criteria.
To evaluate short- and long-term outcome in elderly patients (> 70 years) with HCC in Milan criteria, which underwent liver resection (LR) or RFA.
The study included 594 patients with HCC in Milan criteria (429 in LR group and 165 in RFA group) managed in 10 European centers. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method before and after propensity score matching (PSM) and Cox regression.
After PSM, we compared 136 patients in the LR group with 136 patients in the RFA group. Overall survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 91%, 80%, and 76% in the LR group and 97%, 67%, and 41% in the RFA group respectively (P = 0.001). Disease-free survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 84%, 60% and 44% for the LR group, and 63%, 36%, and 25% for the RFA group (P = 0.001).Postoperative Clavien-Dindo III-IV complications were lower in the RFA group (1% vs 11%, P = 0.001) in association with a shorter length of stay (2 d vs 7 d, P = 0.001).In multivariate analysis, Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score (> 10) [odds ratio (OR) = 1.89], increased value of international normalized ratio (> 1.3) (OR = 1.60), treatment with radiofrequency (OR = 1.46) ,and multiple nodules (OR = 1.19) were independent predictors of a poor overall survival while a high MELD score (> 10) (OR = 1.51) and radiofrequency (OR = 1.37) were independent factors associated with a higher recurrence rate.
Despite a longer length of stay and a higher rate of severe postoperative complications, surgery provided better results in long-term oncological outcomes as compared to ablation in elderly patients (> 70 years) with HCC in Milan criteria.
Core Tip: Surgical resection and radiofrequency ablation represent two possible strategy in treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in Milan criteria. In order to evaluate which of the two therapeutic options can provide better short-term and oncological outcomes, we compared data from 10 European centers before and after propensity score matching. Despite a longer length of stay and a higher rate of severe postoperative complications, surgery provided better results in long-term oncological outcomes as compared to ablation.