Clinical significance of early interventional therapy of branched-chain amino acid granules in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: propensity score matching analysis.Int J Oncol 2014; 45(3):1082-90IJ
We examined whether supplementation of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) granules in an early stage of underlying liver disease (pretreatment serum albumin levels ≥ 3.6 g/dl) can improve overall survival (OS) after therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using propensity score matching analysis. We compared OS between patients treated with BCAA granules and control group patients in two propensity score matched cohorts (cohort 1: pretreatment serum albumin levels ≥ 3.6 g/dl and <4.0 g/dl, 111 pairs; cohort 2: pretreatment serum albumin levels ≥ 4.0 g/dl, 61 pairs). We also performed subgroup analyses according to HCC stage. In cohort 1 patients, the OS rate in the BCAA group (median follow-up period, 2.9 years) tended to be higher compared to that in the control group (median follow-up period, 2.6 years) (1- and 3-year OS rates; 97.2 and 75.5% in the BCAA group and 87.2 and 64.5% in the control group, P=0.072), whereas in cohort 2 patients, the difference in the two groups did not reach significance in terms of OS [1- and 3-year OS rates; 83.2 and 60.7% in the BCAA group (median follow-up period, 2.3 years) and 91.8 and 66.0% in the control group (median follow-up period, 2.9 years), P=0.871]. In subgroup analyses, in cohort 1, in patients with HCC stage III or IV, the OS rate in the BCAA group (n=37) was significantly higher compared to that in the control group (n=34) (P=0.017). In other subgroup analyses, no significant difference in the two groups was found in terms of OS. In conclusion, early interventional therapies using BCAA granules may be effective in some selected HCC patients.