Supplementary Material for: Patient Selection for Transarterial Chemoembolization in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Importance of Benefit/Risk Assessment
Background: Liver cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death, with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounting for most primary liver cancers and most commonly arising from a history of advanced chronic liver disease. Among the available therapies, transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is the most widely utilized and is considered the first-line treatment recommended for patients staged as intermediate HCC (Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage B). If applied correctly, TACE can produce survival benefits without adversely affecting hepatic functional reserve. Summary: The aim of this nonsystematic review is to evaluate the evidence supporting TACE, with a special interest in intermediate HCC, for which this treatment is recommended in first line. However, intermediate HCC represents a broad and heterogeneous group of patients, not all of whom will benefit from TACE. This review highlights the importance of appropriate patient selection for initial TACE and for retreatment. It also evaluates evidence for the treatment of patients who become refractory to TACE. Some patients may, in fact, benefit from early switch (i.e., after 1 or 2 TACE treatments) to systemic therapies rather than continuing retreatments with TACE in order to preserve liver function, thus allowing sequential first- and second-line drug therapies. Key Messages: Careful assessment of an individual patient's benefit/risk ratio is recommended before any TACE session is considered to ensure optimal long-term outcomes in intermediate HCC.