DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4152-7Pages: 1-8

Transarterial radioembolization in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma of intermediate B2 substage

1. University of Bologna, Policlinico di S.Orsola, Radiology Unit, Department of Diagnostic and Preventive Medicine

2. Clinica Universidad de Navarra-IDISNA and CIBEREHD, Liver Unit

3. University of Bologna, Policlinico di S.Orsola, Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences

4. Clinica Universidad de Navarra-IDISNA, Interventional Radiology

5. Clinica Universidad de Navarra-IDISNA, Nuclear Medicine

6. University Hospital Magdeburg, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Correspondence to:
Bruno Sangro
Tel: +34 948 255 400




Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) of intermediate stage (BCLC-B according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer classification) are a heterogeneous group with different degrees of liver function impairment and tumour burden. The recommended treatment is transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). However, patients in this group may be judged as poor candidates for TACE because the risk-benefit ratio is low. Such patients may receive transarterial radioembolization (TARE) only by entering a clinical trial. Experts have proposed that the stage could be further divided into four substages based on available evidence of treatment benefit. We report here, for the first time, the outcome in patients with BCLC-B2 substage HCC treated with TARE.


A retrospective analysis of the survival of 126 patients with BCLC-B2 substage HCC treated with TARE in three European hospitals was performed.


Overall median survival in patients with BCLC-B2 substage was not significantly different in relation to tumour characteristics; 19.35 months (95% CI 8.27–30.42 months) in patients with a single large (>7 cm) HCC, and 18.43 months (95% CI 15.08–21.77 months) in patients with multinodular HCC (p = 0.27). However, there was a higher proportion of long-term survivors at 36 months among those with a single large tumour (29%) than among those with multiple tumours (16.8%).


Given the poor efficacy of TACE in treating patients with BCLC-B2 substage HCC, TARE treatment could be a better choice, especially in those with a large tumour.

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  • Accepted: Aug 28, 2018
  • Online: Sep 12, 2018

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