Palliative chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma with mitoxantrone, lipiodol, and gelfoam. A phase II study

Dario Civalleri, Riccardo Pellicci, Giovanni Decaro, Antonio Giangaspero, Giancarlo Ettorre, Franco Decian, Guido Mondini, Gianantonio Simoni

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Transcatheter chemoembolization, in conjunction with various drugs, has been widely used for palliative treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. A phase II study was aimed out on mitoxantrone chemoembolization. High risk cirrhotic patients were excluded from this study. Fourteen mg/m2 mitoxantrone and up to 20 ml Lipiodol were injected, followed by Gelfoam embolization as indicated. Thirty-seven patients (33 with cirrhosis) were treated. Sixty-nine cycles were delivered, with mean (±SD) Lipiodol and emulsified mitoxantrone doses of 11.3±3.8 ml and 11.8±5.2 mg, respectively. Thirteen, 16, and 8 patients received one, two, and three cycles, respectively, with time intervals of 123±60 days. Thirty patients received Gelfoam embolization at the first cycle, 9 at the second and 4 at the third. No treatment-related deaths occurred. Complications were mild and transient, including nausea/vomiting in most cases, fever over 38°C 67%, pain 74%, ascites 8%, jaundice 3%, bleeding 3%; pancreatitis 3%, myelosuppression 44%, diarrhea 5%. Treatment response rate was 49% (including 16% minor responses) with 16% early progressions. With a median follow-up of 12 months, the 12-month response duration and survival rates were 56% and 79% respectively. Transcatheter chemoembolization with mitoxantrone appears to be a promising method for the palliation of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, and deserves to be evaluated in well controlled randomized studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-942
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Absorbablc
  • Chemoembolization
  • Iodized
  • Liver neoplasms
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Therapeutic; gelatin sponge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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