Complete response of colorectal liver metastases after intra-arterial chemotherapy

Giammaria Fiorentini, Alessandro Del Conte, Michele De Simone, Stefano Guadagni, Andrea Mambrini, Michelina D'Alessandro, Camillo Aliberti, Giuseppe Rossi, Maurizio Cantore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background. We demonstrated that colorectal liver metastases considered in complete response after intra-arterial floxuridine-based chemotherapy had recurred in situ. Methods and study design. One hundred and six colorectal liver metastases disappeared after intra-arterial chemotherapy. Persistent macroscopic disease was observed at surgery at the site of 52 of 106 liver metastases, even though computerized tomography scan and ultrasound showed a complete response. The sites of 35 initial liver metastases that were not visible at surgery were resected. Pathologic examination of these sites, considered in complete response, showed viable cancer cells in 22 of 35 cases. Results. After 1 year of follow-up, 33 of 106 liver metastases considered in complete response had recurred in situ. After 2 years of follow-up, persistent macroscopic or microscopic residual disease or recurrence was observed in 86 (81%) of the 106 liver metastases. Conclusions. Nevertheless, 19% of the patients had a long-lasting response. This means that floxuridine given as intra-arterial hepatic chemotherapy can still be considered an interesting option of cure in the treatment of colorectal liver metastases. When feasible, the site of the lesion that disappeared after intra-arterial chemotherapy should be resected at surgery. The best palliative cure of liver metastases should be the combination of local-regional strategies like intra-arterial chemotherapy, surgery or radiofrequency ablation with the systemic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-492
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Intra-arterial chemotherapy
  • Liver metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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