Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is efficacious against hepatic malignancies by rendering tumors ischemic while delivering high-dose chemotherapy. The added benefit of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has not been determined. We sought to review our experience with TACE with or without RFA in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and colorectal liver metastases in patients not amenable to resection. TACE and RFA were undertaken in 13 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 7) or colorectal liver metastases (n = 6). Concurrently 24 patients underwent TACE alone for hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 15) or colorectal liver metastases (n = 9). Patients undergoing TACE with or without RFA were similar in age, gender, and diagnosis. Overall follow-up was 9.1 months +/- 7.1. One-year survival was greater in patients undergoing TACE with RFA than with TACE alone (100% vs 67%, P = 0.04). Mean survival was longer after TACE with RFA compared with TACE alone (25.3 months +/- 15.9 vs 11.4 months +/- 7.3, P < 0.05). No patients suffered significant complications. The addition of RFA to TACE improves survival in patients with unresectable primary or metastatic hepatic malignancies. RFA with TACE should be in the armamentarium of surgeons caring for patients with malignant liver lesions.
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