Dr. Abou-Alfa on Embolization Versus Embolization Plus Systemic Therapy in HCC
Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, Gastrointestinal Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses a retrospective analysis that evaluated embolization versus embolization plus systemic therapy in patients with metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Abou-Alfa says researchers were curious to see how patients fared when they were treated with local therapy versus systemic therapy. They found that patients with HCC that were given only embolization fared worse than patients in the control arm, who received sorafenib alone. Abou-Alfa says the median survival in the embolization-only arm was 6-7 months while median survival in the control arm was 10.7 months.
However, Abou-Alfa says, when patients received embolization plus systemic therapy, the median survival was greater than 1 year. The idea of combining embolization and systemic therapy needs to be studied further.