(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have a higher median overall survival (OS) when treated with drug eluting bead transarterial chemoembolization (DEB TACE), according to a presentation during the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)’s 2012 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.

Using the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry, Hyun Kim, MD, Director for Interventional Radiology & Image Guided Medicine, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, and colleagues evaluated long-term survival in patients with advanced unresectable HCC not amenable to radiation therapy or cancer-directed surgery. They also assessed the effect of subspecialized care on similarly matched patients treated at a tertiary cancer center in Atlanta.

Of the 14,369 patients identified, mean age at time of diagnosis was 64 years; 76.1% were male; 66.7% were Caucasian, 13.3% were African American, and 19.4% were Asian or American Indian.

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Median OS from diagnosis of the 136 patients treated with DEB TACE was found to be significantly higher when compared to the 404 Atlanta patients and the 12,012 SEER patients (22 vs 4 vs 4 months, respectively; P<0.05).

When compared using Contract Health Service Delivery Areas, median OS for patients treated with DEB TACE was five times longer than all other geographical areas (22 months vs 3, 4, 3, 4, and 4 in Alaska, East, Northern Plains, Pacific Coast, and the Southwest, respectively; P<0.05). Metropolitan, urban, and rural areas demonstrated similar survival outcomes: patients receiving DEB TACE had superior survival (22 vs 3-4 months; P<0.05).