BackgroundAccumulating evidences have suggested that percutaneous cryoablation could be a valuable alternative ablation therapy for HCC but there has been no large cohort-based analysis on its long-term outcomes.
MethodsA series of 866 patients with Child-Pugh class A-B cirrhosis and HCC within Milan criteria who underwent percutaneous cryoablation was long-term followed. The safety, efficacy, 5-year survival, and prognostic factors of percutaneous cryoablation in the treatment of HCC were analyzed.
ResultsA total of 1197 HCC lesions were ablated with 1401 cryoablation sessions. Complete response (CR) was achieved in 1163 (97.2%) lesions and 832 (96.1%) patients with 34 (2.8%) major complications, but no treatment-related mortality. After a median of 30.9 months follow-up, 502 (60.3%) patients who achieved CR developed different types of recurrence. The cumulative local tumor recurrence rate was 24.2% at 5-years. Multiple tumor lesions, tumor size > 3 cm, and repeated ablation of same lesion were independent risk factors associated with local recurrence. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rates were 59.5%. Age < 36 years, HCC family history, baseline hepatitis B virus DNA >106 copies/ml, and three HCC lesions were independently and significantly negative predictors to the post-cryoablation OS.
ConclusionsPercutaneous cryoablation is an effective therapy for patients with HCC within Milan criteria, with comparable efficacy, safety and long-term survival to the reported outcomes of radiofrequency ablation.