BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing in incidence due to hepatitis C. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is a noninvasive, effective therapy in the management of liver malignancies. The authors evaluated radiological response in 26 patients with HCC treated with SBRT at Indiana University. METHODS: Between March 2005 and June 2008, 26 patients with HCC who were not surgical candidates were enrolled in a phase 1 to 2 trial. Eligibility criteria included solitary tumors ≤ 6 cm or up to 3 lesions with sum diameters ≤ 6 cm, and well-compensated cirrhosis. All patients had imaging before, at 1 to 3 months, and every 3 to 6 months after SBRT. RESULTS: Patients received 3 to 5 fractions of SBRT. Median SBRT dose was 42 Gray (Gy) (range: 24-48 Gy). Median follow-up was 13 months. Per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), 4 patients had a complete response (CR), 15 had a partial response (PR), and 7 achieved stable disease (SD) at 12 months. One patient with SD experienced progression marginal to the treated area. The overall best response rate (CR + PR) was 73%. In comparison, by European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) criteria, 18 of 26 patients had ≥ 50% nonenhancement at 12 months. Thirteen of 18 demonstrated 100% nonenhancement, being > 50% in 5 patients. Kaplan-Meier 1- and 2-year survival estimates were 77% and 60%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: SBRT is effective therapy for patients with HCC with an overall best response rate (CR + PR) of 73%. Nonenhancement on imaging, a surrogate for ablation, may be a more useful indicator than size reduction in evaluating HCC response to SBRT in the first 6 to 12 months, supporting EASL criteria.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
- Radiographic response
- Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research