Proving the efficacy of local treatment in liver cancer oligometastases
Professor Chai Hong Rim of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Korea University's Ansan Hospital, along with student Jungsue Lee and Sooyeon Kim of the College of Medicine, Korea University, proved the efficacy of active local treatment such as radiotherapy and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in liver cancer oligometastases (less than 3 to 5 metastatic foci) through a meta-analysis study.
Liver cancer is being called as a "silent killer" and is a cancer that is very difficult to detect early, because there are no clear symptoms in the early stages. According to the statistics of National Cancer Information Center, liver cancer has a poor prognosis, ranking the second place (12.4%) among causes of cancer death. The life expectancy is known to be less than 3 to 6 months when only conservative treatment is performed on metastatic liver cancer.
Although the use of anticancer drugs is generally considered first in the treatment of metastatic cancer, its role had been limited in the treatment of metastatic liver cancer. Not only that, in some cases, active treatment for liver cancer is withdrawn because the role of local treatment, such as radiotherapy and RFA for metastatic lesions has not been sufficiently studied.
Professor Chai Hong Rim's research team performed a systematic literature analysis based on a total of 527 liver cancer oligometastatic patients' data in order to identify the efficacy of local treatment in liver cancer oligometastases.
The analysis showed that the group underwent local treatment, such as radiotherapy and RFA, had significantly improved survival rate compared to the group that did not (Odds Ratio: 4.664, p<0.001). The 1-year and 2-year survival rates for the local treatment group were 71.8% and 43.3%, respectively. Such results were significant higher compared to the life expectancy for patients with metastatic liver cancer in the literature, after conservative treatment.
Professor Chai Hong Rim of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Korea University's Ansan Hospital said, "Even if liver cancer has already metastasized, the need for local treatment such as radiotherapy and RFA must be evaluated through multidisciplinary treatment in consideration of the degree of metastasis, overall health status, and other physical conditions."
"Recently, local treatment techniques have been improved to minimize side effects, enabling active treatment of metastatic cancer. Also, as the new immunotherapy drugs are being developed that are more effective than previous drugs, such drugs and local treatment can be used together to improve prognosis of patients with metastatic liver cancer."
The result of this research was recently published in Cancers.
More information: Sooyeon Kim et al, Local Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Oligometastases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Cancers (2023). DOI: 10.3390/cancers15133467