OBJECTIVE. Treatment options for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) continue to expand. However, given the complexity of the patients including factors such as codominant cirrhosis or portal hypertension and transplant status, it can be difficult to know which treatment is most advantageous. The choice of HCC treatment is perhaps most complex in the setting of HCCs that are 3–5 cm. This article reviews the evidence for locoregional therapies in treating 3-to 5-cm HCCs. CONCLUSION. Combination therapy with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and ablation has the most robust and highest level of evidence to support its efficacy and therefore should be considered first-line therapy for nonresectable HCCs that measure 3–5 cm. The studies support that TACE followed by ablation is superior to either TACE alone or ablation alone. Data for transarterial radioembolization (TARE) to treat HCCs in this specific size range are very limited. Additional data are needed about the comparative effectiveness of TACE-ablation combination and TARE and how the TACE-ablation combination compares with surgical resection.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© American Roentgen Ray Society.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Microwave ablation
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Transarterial radioembolization