Local tumor control of intermediate and advanced stage hepatocellular carcinoma after local ablative treatment with image-guided interstitial high-dose-rate brachytherapy: A subgroup analysis of 286 HCC nodules

Published:January 23, 2023DOI:



      Image-guided interstitial high-dose-rate brachytherapy (iBT) has been demonstrated to offer high local tumor control rates (LTC) of >90% after local ablation of intermediate and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; BCLC B and C). The purpose of this study was to show the efficacy of iBT stratified by subgroups and to identify clinical characteristics associated with superior local tumor control (LTC) based on a highly heterogenous patient population


      A cumulative number of 286 HCC nodules in 107 patients were retrospectively analyzed. Clinical and imaging follow-ups were conducted every 3 months after treatment. Analyzed clinical factors were: etiology, presence of liver cirrhosis, radiographic features, lesion size, pretreatment, administered dose, presence of portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP).


      LTC rate was 88.8% for a median follow-up of 14.3 months (range 3–81 months; 95% CI: 85–92%). Median minimal enclosing tumor dose (D100) was 16.1 Gy (range 7.1–30.3 Gy; reference dose 15 Gy). Subgroup analysis showed significant fewer local recurrences for alcoholic liver disease (ALD)-related HCCs compared to those related to other causes of liver cirrhosis (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, virus-related liver cirrhosis and other causes) (p = 0.015). LTC was significantly lower after prior surgical resection (p = 0.046). No significant variance was observed for the applied D100 in each group or for all other clinical factors tested.


      IBT achieves high LTC rates across treated subgroups. However, further studies should particularly address the possible impact of underlying etiology on local recurrence with emphasis on a possible higher radiosensitivity of ALD-related HCCs.


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