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Open Access Research

Hypofractionated radiotheapy using helical tomotherapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein tumor thrombosis

Ji-Yoon Kim1, Eun-Jung Yoo1, Jeong-Won Jang2, Jung-Hyun Kwon2, Ki-Jun Kim3 and Chul-Seung Kay1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

2 Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

3 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

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Radiation Oncology 2013, 8:15  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-15

Published: 16 January 2013

Abstract

Background

We want to evaluate the efficacy of helical tomotherapy (HT) for treating advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT).

Methods

We treated 35 patients for unresectable HCC combined with PVTT in whom other treatment modalities were not indicated. The tumor thrombi involved the main trunk of the portal vein in 18 patients (51.4%) and the first or second order branches in 17 patients (48.6%). A median dose of 50 Gy (range: 45–60 Gy) was delivered in 10 fractions. Capecitabine was given concomitantly at a dose of 600 mg/m2 twice daily during radiotherapy.

Results

The responses were evaluated via computed tomography. There was a complete response (CR) in 5 patients (14.3%), partial response (PR) in 10 patients (28.6%), stable disease (SD) in 18 patients (51.4%) and progressive disease (PD) in 2 patients (5.7%). The Child-Pugh classification (A vs B) and the Japan integrated staging (JIS) score (2 vs 3) were statistically significant parameters that predicted the response of PVTT (p = 0.010 and p = 0.026, respectively). The median survival, one and two year survival rate of all patients was 12.9 months, 51.4% and 22.2%, respectively. The patients with tumor thrombi in the main portal trunk showed statistically inferior overall survival than patients with tumor thrombi in the portal vein branches (9.8 versus 16.6 months, respectively, p = 0.036). The responders’ median survival was 13.9 months, double 6.9 months as the median survival of the non-responders. No radiation induced liver disease or treatment related mortality was not appeared.

Conclusions

Hypofractionated radiotherapy with HT was effective not only for tumor response but also for survival in the advanced HCC patients with PVTT. And stricter patient selection by Child-Pugh classification and JIS score may maximize the potential benefits of this treatment.

Keywords:
Helical tomotherapy; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Portal vein tumor thrombosis