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Ann Surg Treat Res. 2018 Feb;94(2):74-82. English. Randomized Controlled Trial.
Lee HW , Lee JM , Yoon JH , Kim YJ , Park JW , Park SJ , Kim SH , Yi NJ , Suh KS .
Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Surgery, Seoul Metropolitan Government - Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Liver Cancer Center, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.


Although there are several prospective clinical studies comparing radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and hepatic resection (HR) for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, there are few trials that have been performed in strictly homogeneous patients.


Patients who were newly diagnosed with a solitary hepatocellular carcinoma were randomized to the HR or RFA group. Inclusion criteria were as follows: age ≥ 20 years but ≤ 70 years, Child-Pugh class A, maximal diameter of the tumor ≥ 2 cm but ≤ 4 cm, no previous treatment history, and platelet count > 80,000/mm³.


Although the study was early terminated, 29 and 34 patients were enrolled in the HR and RFA groups, respectively, and prospectively followed on an intention-to-treat basis. The 5-year overall survival rates were 83.4% and 86.2% in the HR and RFA groups, respectively, which were not significantly different (P = 0.812 by log-rank, P = 0.990 by Breslow). The 3- and 5-year disease-free survival rates in the HR group were significantly superior to those in the RFA group (66.7%, 44.4% vs. 44.1%, 31.2%, P = 0.071 by log-rank, P = 0.023 by Breslow). Intrahepatic local recurrence tended to develop more frequently in the RFA group (P = 0.042), while the frequency of intrahepatic distant and extrahepatic recurrence was similar bet ween the 2 groups. There were no significant differences in the frequency and severity of complications between the 2 groups.


HR was significantly superior to RFA in terms of disease-free survival; however, the overall survival was excellent in both groups.

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