Small flexible structure for targeted delivery of therapeutic and imaging moieties in precision medicine
Management of late-stage hepatocellular carcinoma is difficult. A direct comparison of clinical data is needed in order to demonstrate the survival benefits of different therapies. We directly compared various therapies in a retrospective matched case-control study. A total of 79 patients with unresectable tumors greater than 10 cm in size were included in the study between 2008 and 2012. Thirty-five patients were treated with transarterial chemoembolization for local control, 20 were treated with sorafenib systemic chemotherapy, and 24 received combination treatment. The total follow-up time after initial therapy was 4.5 years. Survival time after treatment was significantly longer in the combination therapy group (P < 0.0001). The median survival times for combination, local control, and systemic chemotherapy were 15 (12–21), 10 (9–13), and 3.5 (2.5–9.0) months (95 % confidence interval), respectively. The hazard ratios for local control and systemic chemotherapy were 1.985 and 5.102, respectively, with combination treatment as the reference. There was no observed difference in combination therapy from the side effects of the individual therapies. In conclusion, the limited availability of therapeutic options for late-stage liver cancer necessitates reliance on multidisciplinary personalized medicine approaches with target-specific medications to increase survival time. Combining individualized local control therapy and drugs that target specific disease markers provides more benefits to patients.