Alpha-fetoprotein assessment for hepatocellular carcinoma after transarterial chemoembolization
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To evaluate whether AFP classification criteria correlate with tumor response measured using the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and predicate survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Data from 143 consecutive patients with unresectable HCC and elevated AFP (> 20 ng/mL), who underwent TACE as initial treatment between January 2011 and December 2015 were collected, retrospectively. AFP response was classified as follows: complete response, normalization of AFP; partial response, > 50% decrease from baseline; stable disease, − 50 to + 30% change from baseline; or progressive disease, > 30% increase from baseline. Response rates according to AFP and EASL criteria were compared, and associations between the AFP response and overall survival (OS) were evaluated.
The k value for agreement between AFP criteria and EASL criteria was 0.52 (moderate), with response rates of 42.7% and 41.3%, respectively (P = 0.811). The OS of responders was significantly longer compared with non-responders for both AFP (21 vs. 6 months, P < 0.001) and EASL (23 vs. 6 months, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that the AFP response (hazard ratio [HR], 0.430, 95% CI, 0.233–0.794; P = 0.007), EASL response (HR, 0.343; 95% CI, 0.176–0.666; P = 0.002), and macroscopic vascular invasion (HR, 2.104; 95% CI, 1.403–3.154; P < 0.001) were significantly associated with OS.
The defined AFP classification criteria was moderate correlated with EASL criteria and predicted the outcome in patients with HCC who underwent TACE.
KeywordsAlpha-fetoprotein Transarterial chemoembolization Hepatocellular carcinoma Assessment Radiology Survival
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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