Chemosaturation with percutaneous hepatic perfusions of melphalan for hepatic metastases: experience from two European centers.

T. J. Vogl, S. Zangos, J. E. Scholtz, F. Schmitt, S. Paetzold, J. Trojan, F. Orsi, G. Lotz, P. Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemosaturation with percutaneous hepatic perfusion (PHP; Hepatic CHEMOSAT(®) Delivery System; Delcath Systems Inc, USA) is a minimally invasive, repeatable regional therapy for unresectable hepatic metastases. It uses a system of catheters and filters to isolate hepatic venous blood from the systemic circulation, allowing delivery of high-dose chemotherapy to the hepatic artery. Effluent hepatic venous blood is filtered before being returned to the systemic circulation, thereby reducing exposure to chemotherapy. We describe our experiences with chemosaturation-PHP at 2 European centers. 14 patients presented unresectable hepatic metastases from solid tumors; 13 received 1 - 3 sessions of chemosaturation-PHP. Melphalan 2.0 (n = 1) or 3.0 (n = 12) mg/kg was given as a 30-minute infusion into the hepatic artery. 12 patients were evaluable for tumor response. One complete (cholangiocarcinoma, n = 1) and 6 partial responses (ocular, n = 3 or cutaneous melanoma, n = 3) were observed, 5 patients had stable disease (ocular melanoma, n = 3; breast cancer, n = 1; gastric cancer, n = 1). Mild to moderate filter-related toxicity (i. e. thrombocytopenia, anemia) was observed immediately post-procedure. Grade 3/4 melphalan-related pancytopenia developed after 1 - 2 weeks. All hematological events were managed effectively with transfusions and/or other supportive measures. The new high-efficiency filter showed milder toxicity and faster recovery. In one case, chemosaturation-PHP was abandoned prematurely due to heparin-induced vaginal bleeding, and one patient died due to retroperitoneal hemorrhage from heparin anti-coagulation. Chemosaturation-PHP for non-resectable liver metastases is a feasible treatment option when performed by an experienced multi-disciplinary team. It may be a promising regional therapy for patients with no effective treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-944
Number of pages8
JournalRoFo Fortschritte auf dem Gebiete der Rontgenstrahlen und der Nuklearmedizin
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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