Phase II study of Spherex (degradable starch microspheres) injected into the hepatic artery in conjunction with doxorubicin and cisplatin in the treatment of advanced-stage hepatocellular carcinoma: Interim analysis

B. I. Carr, A. Zajko, K. Bron, P. Orons, J. Sammon, R. Baron

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Patients with advanced-stage unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were treated with intrahepatic arterial doxorubicin 30 mg/2 plus escalating doses of cisplatin up to 100 mg/m2 in conjunction with rapid bolus injection of Spherex (degradable starch microspheres; Kabi Pharmacia, Lund, Sweden) into the hepatic artery, until slowing or reversal of blood flow. Treatments were repeated every 4 to 6 weeks until progression, or were continued indefinitely if there was disease stability or response. Thirty-five evaluable patients have so far been accrued to the study. Objective tumor responses have occurred in 22 patients (63%), of whom 20 had partial responses and two had complete responses. Four of the patients bad reversal of tumor-induced portal vein thrombus. Toxicities included death, one patient (and a death of uncertain cause in an additional patient); hepatitis, two patients; pancreatitis, one patient; dyspnea/hypotension, two patients; and hepatic artery nontransient thrombosis in four patients. Six patients have survived 2 years and an additional 10 patients have survived 1 year. The addition of Spherex to intrahepatic arterial chemotherapy for advanced-stage HCC appears to be relatively safe and is well tolerated even in patients with portal vein thrombosis, which represent the majority of patients with advanced-stage HCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Issue number2 SUPPL. 6
Publication statusPublished - 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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