Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) consists of heterogeneous tumors regarding morphology, biology, and underlying liver function. In intermediate stage HCC, a high rate of recurrence and unsatisfactory treatment outcome after transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) are usually due to a large size and high number of tumors. TACE using drug-eluting beads has an advantage of a higher concentration of chemotherapeutic agent in the tumor. It might be applied to the patients with advanced diseases such as bilobar or recurrent HCC, and poor liver function. Blocking angiogenic stimuli after TACE would be a rational approach and radioembolization with 90Y is a novel interventional modality for intermediate stage HCC. The modest anti-cancer effect of sorafenib coupled with an adverse event is a hurdle to overcome in advanced HCC. External radiotherapy has achieved promising results in HCC with portal vein invasion. The role of internal radiation therapy with 90Y is not yet clear in advanced HCC. The safety and efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy have been reported in several studies. However, as in external radiotherapy, a well-designed randomized result is lacking. An appropriate combination strategy based on baseline patient and tumor characteristics may increase the survival of patients with intermediate or advanced HCC.
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