Journal of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Oct 2023)

Hepatectomy After Conversion Therapy with Hepatic Arterial Infusion Chemotherapy, Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors and Anti-PD-1 Antibodies for Initially Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

  • Yu B,
  • Zhang N,
  • Feng Y,
  • Zhang Y,
  • Zhang T,
  • Wang L

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 10
pp. 1709 – 1721


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Bingran Yu, Ning Zhang, Yun Feng, Yongfa Zhang, Ti Zhang, Lu Wang Department of Hepatic Surgery, Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of ChinaCorrespondence: Lu Wang, Department of Hepatic Surgery, Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, No. 270 Dongan Road, Shanghai, 200032, People’s Republic of China, Email [email protected]: Most patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not candidates for liver resection. We investigated the clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis of patients with initially unresectable HCC who underwent hepatectomy after conversion therapy with hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC), tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), and anti-PD-1 antibodies.Materials and Methods: Patients with initially unresectable HCC who received HAIC combined with TKIs and anti-PD-1 antibodies followed by hepatectomy between December 2020 and December 2022, were retrospectively analyzed. Patient characteristics, tumor characteristics, treatment efficacy, perioperative characteristics, pathological characteristics, and survival outcomes were summarized and analyzed.Results: 67 patients were enrolled in this study. Patients were treated with 3 sessions (range:2– 6 sessions) of combination therapy and were performed with hepatectomy in 4 months (range:1.4– 17.8 months) after the initiation of the combination therapy. The median size of tumor shrinkage was 4.7 cm (range:0.9– 11.7 cm). A pathological complete response (pCR) was achieved in 34.3% of the patients (n = 23). The median recurrence-free survival (RFS) was 19.3 months and the median overall survival (OS) was 28.7 months. Patients who achieved pCR had a better RFS (P = 0.004) and those without microscopic vascular invasion (MVI) had a better prognosis (RFS, P = 0.011; OS, P = 0.023). Multivariable logistic analysis revealed that the tumor number was associated with pCR.Conclusion: Hepatectomy after conversion therapy with HAIC, TKIs, and anti-PD-1 antibodies is a feasible treatment strategy for patients with unresectable HCC. This treatment strategy is associated with a promising prognosis.Keywords: hepatectomy, conversion therapy, hepatocellular carcinoma, pathological complete response