BACKGROUND & AIMS: This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) followed by radiotherapy (RT) and hyperthermia (CERT) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT).
METHODS: This single-institution, single-arm, prospective phase II study was performed from October 2013 to February 2016. The objective response rate (ORR) was evaluated at 3 months after CERT completion, and overall ORR was the primary end point.
RESULTS: During the study period, 69 of 77 patients who consented to participate underwent at least one session of hyperthermia and RT. More than half of the patients (39, 56.5%) complained of severe hyperthermia-related pain. The overall ORR was 43.5% (30/69), and the ORR of the RT target area was 69.6% (48/69). Liver function status was not significantly affected by CERT. Overall survival, local progression-free survival, and progression-free survival of all enrolled patients at 2 years was 62.9%, 47.6%, and 14.3%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: An overall ORR of 43.5% was observed after CERT, but a promising ORR of 69.6% was achieved in the RT target area. Toxicities related to CERT were manageable, and pain intolerance to hyperthermia was the main obstacle to treatment maintenance.