Study Examines Ten-Year Trends in TARE for HCC

Use of transarterial radioembolization (TARE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been increasing over the past decade, according to a study published in JVIR.

Researchers retrospectively examined data from 2003 through 2012 from the National Cancer Database. The data included 110,139 adult patients with HCC. Of those patients, 1,222 were treated with TARE.

The study showed that use of TARE steadily increased over the past 10 years. An examination of patient characteristics revealed that most patients were white men with a median age of 45 years. Of the patients who received TARE, 67% were treated at an academic institution, 42% were American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I or II, and 10% had metastatic disease at the time of treatment.

Patients had a median overall survival of 13.3 months, and overall survival varied according to patient and tumor characteristics. For example, women with tumors that were less than 5 cm or stage I or II disease derived the most benefit from treatment. Although outcomes were the same across all age groups, patients who were African American or had metastatic disease tended to have worse outcomes.

The researchers concluded that TARE use is on the rise and that several factors— including male sex, large tumors, and extrahepatic disease—are linked with a less favorable outcome after TARE.

However, they added some words of caution. “Age alone should not be a discriminating factor for management of HCC with TARE. Further prospective evaluations of the clinical benefit of radioembolization alone or in combination with other systemic or locoregional options are warranted.”


Tohme S, Bou Samra P, Kaltenmeier C, Chidi AP, Varley PR, Tsung A. Radioembolization for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Nationwide 10-Year Experience. J Vasc Interven Radiol. 26 May 2018. Epub ahead of print. doi: