ABSTRACT: Background & Aims: There is no generally accepted adjuvant therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after curative resection. Autologous cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells therapy has been reported to improve outcomes of patients with HCC, but its role as an adjuvant therapy remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CIK as an adjuvant therapy for HCC after curative resection. Methods: This is a single center, phase 3, open label, randomized controlled trial (RCT). Two hundred patients who were initially diagnosed with HCC of Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage A or B, and underwent curative hepatectomy were randomly assigned to receive four cycles of CIK treatment (the CIK group, n = 100) or no treatment (the control group, n = 100). The primary outcome was time to recurrence. The secondary outcomes included disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS) and adverse events. Results: All patients in the CIK group finished the treatment by protocol. The median time to recurrence (TTR) was 13.6 (IQR 6.5–25.2) mo in the CIK group and 7.8 (IQR 2.7–17.0) mo in the control group (p = 0.01). There were no significant differences between the groups in DFS and OS. All adverse events were grade 1 or 2. There were no significant differences in incidence between the two groups. Conclusions: Four cycles of CIK therapy were safe and effective to prolong the median TTR in patients with HCC after curative resection, but the treatment did not improve the DFS and OS.
- Adjuvant therapy
- cytokine-induced killer cells
- hepatocellular carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy