Intra-arterial chemotherapy followed by chemo-embolisation in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma

M. Colleoni, G. Liessi, G. Mastrapasqua, P. Nelli, G. Vicario, G. Sgarbossa, F. Pancheri, P. Manente

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Unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma is related to a poor prognosis. Encouraging response rates and survival have been reported with intra-arterial (i.a.) chemotherapy and chemo-embolisation, but limited data are available on the association of the two treatment modalities. We therefore started a new programme combining i.a. chemotherapy with chemo-embolisation. The treatment regimen consisted of L-leucovorin (100 mg/m 2 i.v.), 5-fluorouracil (800 mg/m 2 i.a.), and carboplatin (250 mg/m 2 i.a.). Chemo-embolisation with mitoxantrone (10 mg/m 2) plus ethiodized oil followed immediately. The same treatment plus gelatin sponge was given after 28 days. 26 patients entered the study and were evaluable for response and side-effects. Main patient characteristics were: males 21, females 5: median age 68 years (range 42-76 years); stage TNM II-III 17, IVA 9; Child's A 12, Child's B 14; elevated baseline α-fetoprotein 17; cirrhosis 25. 14 patients had a partial response (54%; 95% confidence interval 33-73%), 3 had stabilisation and 9 had progressive disease. Median survival was 11 months (range 2-20+). 16 patients had grade I-II pain and 15 grade I-II fever. Our results indicate that the regimen is safe, well tolerated and capable of inducing objective remissions in a high percentage of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1997


  • chemo-embolisation
  • hepatocellular
  • intra-arterial chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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