Background: This study evaluated the down-staging efficacy and impact on resectability of concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) followed by hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) in locally advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, and identified prognostic factors of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) after curative resection. Methods: DFS and OS were investigated using clinicopathologic variables. Functional residual liver volume (FRLV) was assessed before CCRT and again before surgery in patients with major hepatectomy. Tumor marker response was defined as elevated tumor marker levels at diagnosis but levels below cutoff values before surgery (α-fetoprotein < 20 ng/mL, protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II < 40 mAU/mL). Results: Of 243 patients who received CCRT followed by HAIC between 2005 and 2011, 41 (16.9 %) underwent curative resection. Tumor down-staging was demonstrated in 32 (78 %) of the resected patients. FRLV significantly increased from 47.5 to 69.9 % before surgery in patients who underwent major hepatectomy. In addition, the OS of the curative resection group was significantly higher than the OS of the CCRT followed by HAIC alone group (49.6 vs. 9.8 % at 5-year survival; p < 0.001). By multivariate analysis, the poor prognostic factors for DFS after curative resection were tumor marker non-response and the presence of a satellite nodule; however, tumor marker non-response was the only independent poor prognostic factor of OS. Conclusions: CCRT followed by HAIC increased resectability by down-staging tumors and increasing FRLV. Curative resection may provide good long-term survival in tumor marker responders who undergo CCRT followed by HAIC.
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