Hepatic arterial embolization with microencapsulated mitomycin C for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis

R. A. Audisio, R. Doci, V. Mazzaferro, L. Bellegotti, M. Tommasini, F. Montalto, A. Marchiano, A. Piva, C. DeFazio, B. Damascelli, L. Gennari, D. H. Van Thiel

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From 1986 to 1988, 35 patients with a hepatoma judged either inoperable or unresectable because of coexistent cirrhosis were treated with hepatic arterial embolization of mitomycin C microcapsules. Five of these 35 patients (14.5%) could not be treated because of inability to selectively cannulate the hepatic artery and were therefore excluded from the evaluation (feasibility rate, 86%). There were 24 men and six women with a median age of 57 years (range, 47 to 79) who could be classified as Okuda I (14 pts) or Okuda II (16 pts) and Child Class A:18 and Child Class B:12 in the remaining patients. A median dose of 0.5 mg mitomycin C/kg was administered to each subject and the treatment was repeated at 5 to 6 week intervals. Seventy courses were administered to these 30 patients (median, two courses/patient; range, 1 to 4). Minor complications were frequent (63%) but always either resolved spontaneously or after appropriate medical treatment. Neither severe renal nor hepatic toxicity was observed. No specific treatment related mortality was observed. When alpha-fetoprotein levels and tumor volume were assessed to evaluate the response to treatment using established criteria for identifying a response, an objective response was found in 43% of the cases treated. The actuarial median survival was 7 months and the 1-year actuarial survival was 36% (51% for those rated as Child Class A and 0% for those identified as Child Class B, P = 0.04 and 78% rated as Okuda Types I and 0% Okuda type II, P = 0.0001). The excellent quality of life and the increased survival rate experienced after mitomycin C microcapsule embolization suggest that this treatment modality can be used successfully in patients seen in the West who have unresectable hepatoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-236
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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