Is Overall Survival Better with Radiofrequency Ablation or Cryoablation for Localized HCC?

No significant difference in overall survival (OS) and liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) was found in patients with localized hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with either cryoablation (cryo) or radiofrequency ablation (RFA), according to a study published in Anticancer Research.

This retrospective review utilized the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database to find a cohort of patients with Stage 1 or 2 HCC treated with cyro or RFA from 2004-2013.

In the 3239 patients identified, a significant survival advantage in LCSS was found in patients treated with RFA compared with those treated with cryo (HR = 1.634 P = 0.0004). There were 91 propensity-matched pairs with similar OS (HR = 1.006 P = 0.9768). There was no difference in LCSS observed between those treated with RFA and those treated with cryo [HR = 1.412 (95% CI = 0.933 - 2.137) P = 0.1023].

Survival Cox models did not reveal treatment type as an independent prognostic factor.

The authors concluded that, “Propensity-matched cohort showed no significant difference in terms of OS and LCSS was found for patients treated with either cryo or RFA for localized HCC.”


--Kelsey Moroz



Xu J, Noda C, Erickson A, et al. Radiofrequency Ablation vs. Cryoablation for Localized Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Propensity-matched Population Study. Anticancer Res. 2018;38(11):6381-6386. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.12997.