OEM-TACE: A new therapeutic approach in unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

Guido Poggi, A. Amatu, B. Montagna, P. Quaretti, C. Minoia, C. Sottani, L. Villani, B. Tagliaferri, F. Sottotetti, O. Rossi, E. Pozzi, F. Zappoli, A. Riccardi, G. Bernardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a rare life-threatening disease, whose only treatment with potential for cure is surgical resection. However, only 27% of patients at most are suitable for surgery when first diagnosed. For patients with unresectable disease, therapeutic options are chemotherapy or chemoradiation. We evaluated the feasibilty and safety of oxaliplatin-eluting microspheres transarterial chemoembolization (OEM-TACE) associated with chemotherapy (ChT) in patients affected by unresectable ICC. Between December 2005 and May 2008 we treated nine patients (six female and three male) with unresectable ICC. All patients had undergone OEM-TACE associated with chemotherapy with oxaliplatin and gemcitabine. A retrospective comparison was carried out with a historical group of 11 patients treated with ChT only, estimating the prevalence of adverse effects and the median survival of the two groups. A total of 30 TACEs were performed during the observational time (ranging from one to seven procedures per patient). OEM-TACEs were followed by few adverse effects (AEs), without G4 AEs, according to CTACAE 3.0. According to RECIST criteria, 44% (4/9) of patients achieved partial responses and 56% (5/9) stabililization of disease. Overall survival analysis in the two groups showed a significantly increased survival in patients treated with ChT and OEM-TACE, with respect to those treated with ChT (30 vs. 12.7 months; p = 0.004). In conclusion, in our experience OEM-TACE associated with ChT in the treatment of advanced unresectable ICC is a safe and feasible treatment causing no major adverse events. Although RECIST criteria can underestimate the rate of responses in patients treated with locoregional therapies, we achieved very encouraging results. A randomized multicentric trial is warranted to assess the actual superiority of OEM-TACE associated with ChT compared to conventional chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1192
Number of pages6
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma
  • Palliative treatments
  • Transarterial chemoembolization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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