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To retrospectively compare radiofrequency ablation (RFA) combined with the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib (hereafter, sorafenib-RFA) and RFA alone in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained. Between January 2007 and December 2011, 16 patients (mean age, 72.8 years; age range 52-84 years; 10 men, six women) with HCC tumors less than 3 cm in diameter were included in the sorafenib-RFA group, and 136 patients (mean age, 72.1 years; age range, 51-86 years; 92 men, 44 women) with HCC tumors less than 3 cm in diameter were included in the RFA alone (control) group. Mean diameters of the greatest long-axis dimensions of HCC were 22.8 mm ± 4.6 (standard deviation) in the sorafenib-RFA group and 18.1 mm ± 4.4 in the control group. RFA was performed immediately after the 7-day administration of sorafenib. Propensity score matching analysis was used to adjust for potential biases. Fifteen of the 16 patients in the sorafenib-RFA group and 30 of the 136 patients in the control group were selected during propensity score matching. No significant differences between the sorafenib-RFA group (n = 15) and the control group (n = 30) were observed with regard to age, sex, etiology, Child-Pugh class, tumor size, puncture number, needle size, location at the liver margin, or location adjacent to a main vessel. The respective mean diameters of the greatest long- and short-axis dimensions of the RFA-induced ablated area were 46.3 mm ± 10.3 and 33.0 mm ± 6.9 in the sorafenib-RFA group and 32.9 mm ± 7.6 and 25.6 mm ± 5.7 in the control group; both of these dimensions were significantly larger in the sorafenib-RFA group (both P < .001). Sorafenib-RFA may be superior to standard RFA alone in the treatment of HCC tumors smaller than 3 cm in diameter.


Hiroyuki Fukuda, Kazushi Numata, Satoshi Moriya, Yu Shimoyama, Tomohiro Ishii, Akito Nozaki, Masaaki Kondo, Manabu Morimoto, Shin Maeda, Kentaro Sakamaki, Satoshi Morita, Katsuaki Tanaka. Hepatocellular carcinoma: concomitant sorafenib promotes necrosis after radiofrequency ablation--propensity score matching analysis. Radiology. 2014 Aug;272(2):598-604

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PMID: 24689883

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