Chemoembolization with drug-eluting microspheres loaded with doxorubicin for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma

Camillo Aliberti, Riccardo Carandina, Donatella Sarti, Enrico Pizzirani, Gaetano Ramondo, Luca Mulazzani, Gian Maria Mattioli, Giammaria Fiorentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To report clinical outcomes of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) using drug-eluting beads (DEBs) loaded with doxorubicin for the treatment of unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Patients and Methods: We treated 127 patients with doxorubicin via TACE. Inclusion criteria were: diagnosis of unresectable CCA; indication for TACE, performance status (PS) 0-2, >3 months of life expectancy, >18 years old, written consent. TACE was performed using DEBs for 109 (86%) patients and polythylene glycol drug-elutable microspheres (PEG) loaded with doxorubicin for 18 (14%) patients. Results: Tumor response of the whole sample of 127 patients was partial response (PR) in 19 (15%) patients, stable disease (SD) in 101 (80%) and progressive disease (PD) in seven (5%) 3 months after therapy, with no complete responses. There were differences between type of embolics: PR was 7% and 77%, SD was 88% and 8%, and PD was 5% and 15%, and the disease control rate was 95% and 85% in the DEB and PEG groups, respectively. Most frequent side-effects were: abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and transaminase rise. Conclusion: TACE was effective and safe for CCA treatment, with a high disease control rate. The best response of PEGTACE was PR, whereas it was SD for DEB-TACE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1863
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Chemoembolization
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Intra-arterial chemotherapy
  • Safety
  • Tumor response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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