25-OH-vitamin D deficiency identifies poor tumor response in hepatocellular carcinoma treated with transarterial chemoembolization

  • Y.-Q. Wu
  • W.-Z. Fan
  • M. Xue
  • J. Guo
  • J.-L. Wei
  • Y. Wang
  • W. Yao
  • Y. Zhao
  • J.-P. LiEmail author
Research Article



Vitamin D is implicated linked to liver cancer and chronic liver diseases, but its association with tumor response in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients undergoing transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) remains unclear. This study aimed to determine whether vitamin D levels influence tumor response in HCC patients treated with TACE.


A total of 58 HCC patients undergoing TACE were enrolled in the study. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels were determined at baseline and 1 day after TACE using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Response to TACE was evaluated after a 4–6 week interval. Univariate and multivariate analyses with Cox regression model were performed to determine the risk factors associated with tumor response. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to assess the predictive performance of baseline 25-OHD levels on tumor response in HCC patients undergoing TACE.


43.1% of HCC patients showed 25-OHD deficiency. Baseline 25-OHD level was associated with liver cirrhosis (P = 0.025), vascular invasion (P = 0.031), Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage (P = 0.002) and an alanine aminotransferase increase after TACE (P = 0.021). Serum 25-OHD level was significantly decreased 1 day after TACE (P = 0.045). Multiple tumor numbers (P = 0.034) and low baseline 25-OHD levels (P = 0.040) were independently correlated with poor tumor response after TACE. ROC curve analysis showed that baseline 25-OHD levels present better predictive performance for OR in those patients, compared with other current clinical test pointers.


Our study suggested that 25-OHD deficiency at baseline is a prognostic indicator for a poor tumor response in hepatocellular carcinoma treated with TACE.


Hepatocellular carcinoma 25-OH-vitamin D Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization Tumor response 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China for Young Scientists (81701799).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This manuscript has not been published or presented elsewhere in part or in entirety and is not under consideration by another journal. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study design was approved by the ethics committee at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University (NO [2018] 230).

Informed consent

All study participants provided informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Interventional OncologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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