Radioembolization versus chemoembolization for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma: a meta-analysis of randomized trials
Purpose: This study aimed to compare clinically relevant outcomes following transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and transarterial radioembolization (TARE) in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using only prospective randomized clinical trials as a source of information. Materials and methods: A meta-analysis was performed to compare the efficacy of TARE and TACE in treating patients with unresectable HCC. Only prospective randomized trials were included in the quantitative analysis. Overall and progression-free survival, disease control rate, and transplantation rate were the variables under analysis. Results: Overall survival at 1 year was similar between the two treatment groups (OR =1.31, 95% CI: 0.56-3.04, P=0.53). Progression-free survival at 1 year was also not statistically different between the two treatments (OR =0.23, 95% CI: 0.02-2.45, P=0.22). Although a higher proportion of patients underwent transplantation in the TARE group (30% vs 20.8%), this difference was not statistically significant (OR =0.68, 95% CI: 0.23-2.01; P=0.49). Conclusion: TARE and TACE provide similar outcomes in unresectable HCC. The role of TARE should be explored in selected patient subpopulations in future clinical trials.