Activity and tolerability of courses of intra-arterial chemotherapy followed by chemoembolization in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma

M. Colleoni, G. Vicario, P. Manente, F. De Braud, N. Fazio, G. Liessi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims and Background: We previously reported encouraging response rates and survival with combined intra-arterial (i.a.) chemotherapy and chemoembolization in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. We therefore evaluated a new program combining three courses of i.a. chemotherapy with chemoembolization administered every 28 days. Patients and methods: The treatment regimen consisted of L-leucovorin (100 mg/m2 i.v.), fluorouracil (800 mg/m2 i.a.), and carboplatin (250 mg/m2 i.a.). Chemoembolization with mitoxantrone (10 mg/m2) plus ethiodized oil and gelatin sponge was performed immediately after. The same treatment was given every 28 days for 3 times. Results: Twenty-eight patients entered the study and were assessable for response and side effects. There were 24 males and 4 females (median age, 68 yrs; range, 42-75). TNM stage was II-III in 20 and IVA in 8; 17 were Child's A and 11 Child's B. Baseline α-fetoprotein was elevated in 15, and there was cirrhosis in 23. Twelve patients had a partial response (43%; 95% confidence interval, 24-63%), 13 had stabilization, and 3 progressive disease. Median survival was 16.6 months (range, 2-24). Sixteen patients had grade I-II pain and 14 grade I-II fever. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the regimen is safe and well tolerated. Despite 43% objective remissions, our results do not seem better than those obtained with less intensive regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-676
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998



  • Chemoembolization
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Intra-arterial chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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