Objective: To prospectively assess treatment response using volumetric functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) metrics in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with the combination of doxorubicin-eluting bead–transarterial chemoembolization (DEB TACE) and sorafenib.
Methods: A single center study enrolled 41 patients treated with systemic sorafenib, 400 mg twice a day, combined with DEB TACE. All patients had a pre-treatment and 3–4 week post-treatment MRI. Anatomic response criteria (RECIST, mRECIST and EASL) and volumetric functional response (ADC, enhancement) were assessed. Statistical analyses included paired Student’s t-test, Kaplan-Meier curves, Cohen’s Kappa, and multivariate cox proportional hazard model.
Results: Median tumour size by RECIST remained unchanged post-treatment (8.3 ± 4.1 cm vs. 8.1 ± 4.3 cm, p = 0.44). There was no significant survival difference for early response by RECIST (p = 0.93). EASL and mRECIST could not be analyzed in 12 patients. Volumetric ADC increased significantly (1.32 × 10−3 mm2/sec to 1.60 × 10−3 mm2/sec, p < 0.001), and volumetric enhancement decreased significantly in HAP (38.2 % to 17.6 %, p < 0.001) and PVP (76.6 % to 41.2 %, p < 0.005). Patients who demonstrated ≥ 65 % decrease PVP enhancement had significantly improved overall survival compared to non-responders (p < 0.005).
Conclusion: Volumetric PVP enhancement was demonstrated to be significantly correlated with survival in the combination of DEB TACE and sorafenib for patients with HCC, enabling precise stratification of responders and non-responders.
Key Points: • PVP enhancement is significantly correlated with survival in responders (p < 0.005).
• There was no significant survival difference for early response using RECIST (p = 0.93).
• mRECIST or EASL could not assess tumour response in 29 % of patients.
- Diffusion-weighted MRI
- Treatment response
- Volumetric functional MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging