Hepatic intra-arterial cetuximab in combination with 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin as salvage treatment for sorafenib-refractory hepatocellular carcinoma

Guido Poggi, Benedetta Montagna, Fabio Melchiorre, Pietro Quaretti, Angelo Delmonte, Alberto Riccardi, Barbara Tagliaferri, Federico Sottotetti, Pamela Di Cesare, Maria Giulia Stella, Laura Villani, Michele Zorzetto, Giorgio Greco, Gianpaolo Cornalba, Giovanni Bernardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Sorafenib is the only therapy approved for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma no longer eligible for transcatheter arterial chemoembolization. Hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy has been shown to be an effective and safe therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Cetuximab has been administered intravenously to patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, showing encouraging results in terms of its safety and toxicity profile. Aim: Our purpose was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of hepatic arterial chemotherapy with cetuximab, cisplatin and 5-fluoruracil for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, not responsive or not eligible for sorafenib therapy. Patients and Methods: From January 2010 to January 2011, 12 patients received a 2-day course of chemotherapy consisting of repeated daily hepatic arterial administration of 20 mg of cisplatin as 2-h infusion, 5-fluorouracil at 500 mg/m 2 as 5-h infusion and cetuximab 500 mg/m 2 as 12-h infusion. Cycles were repeated every 14 days. Results: After a mean of four months of therapy, computed tomography revealed five partial responses, five cases of stable disease and two of progressive disease. The toxicity profile was favourable, with no G4 gastrointestinal, hematologic or skin side-effects, or severe deterioration of liver function. Conclusion: Hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy with cetuximab is a safe and feasible treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, with promising results in patients with initial poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3927-3933
Number of pages7
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011



  • Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
  • Cetuximab
  • Hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy (HAIC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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