Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with major portal vein thrombosis by combined therapy with subcutaneous interferon-α and intra-arterial 5-fluorouracil; role of type I interferon receptor expression

H. Ota, H. Nagano, M. Sakon, H. Eguchi, M. Kondo, T. Yamamoto, M. Nakamura, B. Damdinsuren, H. Wada, S. Marubashi, A. Miyamoto, K. Dono, K. Umeshita, S. Nakamori, K. Wakasa, M. Monden

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We previously reported the beneficial effects of combination therapy of interferon (IFN)-α/5-fluorouracil (FU) for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with tumour thrombi in the major portal branches. This report describes the results of longer follow-up and includes more than double the number of patients relative to the original report, and evaluates the role of IFN-α/type 2 interferon receptor (IFNAR2) expression on the response to the combination therapy. The study subjects were 55 patients with advanced HCC and tumour thrombi in the major branches of the portal vein (Vp3 or 4). They were treated with at least two courses of IFN-α/5-FU without major complication. In the 55 patients, 24 (43.6%) showed objective response (eight (14.5%) showed complete response, 16 (29.1%) partial response), four (7.3%) showed no response, and 27 (49.1%) showed progressive disease. Immunohistochemically, IFNAR2 expression was detected in nine out of 13 (69.2%) patients. There was significant difference in the time-to-progression survival (P = 0.0002) and the overall survival ( P< 0.0001) between IFNAR2-positive and -negative cases. There was a significant correlation between IFNAR2 expression and response to IFN-α/5-FU combination therapy in univariate analysis (P = 0.0070). IFN-α/5-FU combination therapy is a promising modality for advanced HCC with tumour thrombi in the major portal branches and could significantly depend on IFNAR2 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 5 2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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