Background Microwave ablation (MWA) is increasingly used to achieve local control for liver tumours. This study sought to examine a monocentric experience with MWA, with a primary hypothesis that primary tumour histology was a significant predictor of early recurrence. Methods Retrospective single-institution review identified consecutive patients with liver tumours treated by MWA. Cox proportional hazards models assessed significance of prognostic variables. Results Seventy-two patients (43 female, 60%) underwent 83 MWA procedures for 157 tumours. Tumour histologies included hepatocellular cancer (10 operations), colorectal metastases (39), metastatic carcinoid (20) and other (14). The median tumour size was 2.0 cm. A concomitant liver resection was performed in 50 cases (60%). Crude peri-operative morbidity and mortality rates were 16% and 1%, respectively. The median follow-up was 16 months. Ablations were complete for 149 out of 157 tumours (95%). The median overall and recurrence-free survivals were 36 and 18 months, respectively. There was no difference in time to recurrence between the primary tumour types. In multivariable models, recurrence-free survival was independently associated with the use of neoadjuvant [hazard ratio (HR): 2.90, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09-7.76, P = 0.034] and adjuvant chemotherapy (HR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.15-0.82, P = 0.016). Conclusions MWA is a safe and feasible approach for local control of liver tumours. While chemotherapy administration was associated with time to recurrence after MWA, larger studies are needed to corroborate these findings.
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