PURPOSE: Treatment response to drug-eluting bead chemoembolization (DEB-TACE) is well established for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, few studies have evaluated tumor imaging characteristics associated with treatment responses. The aim of our study was to identify imaging characteristics associated with treatment responses and overall survival after DEB-TACE of HCC. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of 33 tumors in 32 patients who underwent DEB-TACE for inoperable HCC in a single, large academic medical center. Arterial phase computed tomography data were reviewed to assess tumor size, edge characteristics, tumor enhancement on pixel density histogram, and heterogeneity using coefficient of variation. We assessed correlation between these markers of tumor morphology and response to DEB-TACE using mRECIST criteria, progression-free survival, and overall survival. RESULTS: Tumor heterogeneity (P = 0.01) and tumor enhancement greater than 50% (P = 0.05) were significantly associated with complete response to DEB-TACE in patients with HCC; however, neither was associated with overall or progression-free survival. Tumor size and edge characteristics were not associated with complete response to DEB-TACE, although tumor size greater than 6 cm was associated with worse overall survival (hazard ratio, 3.349; P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Tumor heterogeneity and enhancement on arterial phase imaging may be predictive markers of treatment response to DEB-TACE among patients with HCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging