Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Yttrium-90 radioembolization for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma : predictive modeling strategies to anticipate tumor response and improve patient selection


This study aims to better characterize potential responders of Y-90-radioembolization at baseline through analysis of clinical variables and contrast enhanced (CE) MRI tumor volumetry in order to adjust therapeutic regimens early on and to improve treatment outcomes.


Fifty-eight HCC patients who underwent Y-90-radioembolization at our center between 10/2008 and 02/2017 were retrospectively included. Pre- and post-treatment target lesion volumes were measured as total tumor volume (TTV) and enhancing tumor volume (ETV). Survival analysis was performed with Cox regression models to evaluate 65% ETV reduction as surrogate endpoint for treatment efficacy. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the combination of baseline clinical variables and tumor volumetry as predictors of ≥ 65% ETV reduction.


Mean patients' age was 66 (SD 8.7) years, and 12 were female (21%). Sixty-seven percent of patients suffered from liver cirrhosis. Median survival was 11 months. A threshold of ≥ 65% in ETV reduction allowed for a significant (p = 0.04) separation of the survival curves with a median survival of 11 months in non-responders and 17 months in responders. Administered activity per tumor volume did predict neither survival nor ETV reduction. A baseline ETV/TTV ratio greater than 50% was the most important predictor of arterial devascularization (odds ratio 6.3) in a statistically significant (p = 0.001) multivariable logistic regression model. The effect size was strong with a Cohen's f of 0.89.


We present a novel approach to identify promising candidates for Y-90 radioembolization at pre-treatment baseline MRI using tumor volumetry and clinical baseline variables.

Key points

• A decrease of 65% enhancing tumor volume (ETV) on follow-up imaging 2-3 months after Y-90 radioembolization of HCC enables the early prediction of significantly improved median overall survival (11 months vs. 17 months, p = 0.04). • Said decrease in vascularization is predictable at baseline: an ETV greater than 50% is the most important variable in a multivariable logistic regression model that predicts responders at a high level of significance (p = 0.001) with an area under the curve of 87%.


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