PLoS One. 2021 Mar 4;16(3):e0247958. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247958. eCollection 2021.
BACKGROUND: Recently, the use of Yttrium-90 transarterial radioembolization in non-surgical hepatocellular carcinoma was suggested but the evidence supporting its use is unclear.
METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, Web of Science and Cochrane CENTRAL from inception up to April 14, 2020 for randomized controlled trials comparing Y90-TARE to standard of care in non-surgical HCC patients. Our primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Our secondary outcomes were progression-free survival, time to progression, disease control rate, grade ≥3 adverse events and rates of gastro-intestinal ulcers. Hazard ratios (HR) and risk ratios (RR) with random-effects model were used for our analyses. The risk of bias of the included studies was assessed using Cochrane’s RoB 2 tool.
RESULTS: Of 1,604 citations identified, eight studies (1,439 patients) were included in our analysis. No improvement in overall survival were noted when Yttrium-90 transarterial radioembolization was compared to standard treatments (HR 0.99 [95% CI 0.81-1.21], 6 studies, I2 = 77.6%). However, Yttrium-90 transarterial radioembolization was associated with fewer grade ≥3 adverse events (RR 0.64 [95% CI 0.45-0.92], 7 studies, I2 = 66%). No difference was observed on other secondary outcomes.
DISCUSSION: In non-surgical HCC patients, Yttrium-90 transarterial radioembolization was not associated with significant effect on survival, progression-free survival, time to progression, disease control rate and the incidence of gastro-intestinal ulcers but was however associated with significantly lower rates of grade ≥3 adverse events. Further randomized controlled trials are warranted to better delineate optimal treatment.