A retrospective analysis of trabectedin infusion by peripherally inserted central venous catheters: A multicentric Italian experience

Francesca Martella, Vanda Salutari, Claudia Marchetti, Carmela Pisano, Marilena Di Napoli, Francesca Pietta, Dina Centineo, Anna M. Caringella, Angela Musella, Luisa Fioretto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The European Medicines Agency strongly recommends administration of trabectedin through a central venous catheter (CVC) to minimize the risk of extravasation. However, CVCs place patients at risk of catheter-related complications and have a significant budgetary impact for oncology departments. The most frequently used CVCs are subcutaneously implanted PORT-chamber catheters (PORTs); peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs) are relatively new. We reviewed data of trabectedin-treated patients to evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of the use of PORTs and PICCs in six Italian centres. Data on 102 trabectedin-treated patients (20 with sarcoma, 80 with ovarian cancer and two with cervical cancer) were evaluated. Forty-five patients received trabectedin by a PICC, inserted by trained nurses using an ultrasound-guided technique at the bedside, whereas 57 patients received trabectedin infusion by a PORT, requiring a day surgery procedure in the hospital by a surgeon. Device dislocation and infections were reported in four patients, equally distributed between PORT or PICC users. Thrombosis occurred in a single patient with a PORT. Complications requiring devices removal were not reported during any of the 509 cycles of therapy (median 5; range 1-20). PICC misplacement or early malfunctions were not reported during trabectedin infusion. The cost-efficiency ratio favours PORT over PICC only when the device is used for more than 1 year. Our data suggest that trabectedin infusion by PICC is safe and well accepted, with a preferable cost-efficiency ratio compared with PORT in patients requiring short-term use of the device (≤1 year).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-994
Number of pages5
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 7 2015


  • peripherally inserted central venous catheters
  • retrospective analysis
  • trabectedin infusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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