Purpose To assess the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of small drug-eluting embolic (DEE) agents (70–150 μm) for chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Materials and Methods This single-center, single-arm, retrospective study involved 421 patients (mean age, 66.1 y ± 9.8 [standard deviation]) with Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage A (n = 88), B (n = 140), or C (n = 193) HCC and Child–Pugh class A (n = 233) or B (n = 188) cirrhosis. Patients had a mean of 7.2 lesions ± 4.8 (range, 1–21; mean diameter of target lesion, 21.4 cm ± 8.1; unilobar, n = 132; bilobar, n = 289; portal vein involvement, n = 193). One (n = 320) or 2 (n = 101) vials of small DEEs loaded with doxorubicin 50 mg per vial were delivered selectively (ie, segmentally) or superselectively (ie, directly into the tumor-feeding vessel) until complete delivery or stasis/near-stasis. Treatment was repeated in patients with partial response or stable disease at 1- or 3-month follow-up (mean, 2.0 cycles ± 0.9). Adverse events within 30 days of chemoembolization, response per modified Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (mRECIST), and survival were assessed. Results Within 30 days after treatment, no deaths or bleeding events occurred, but all patients had at least 1 episode of postembolization syndrome (pain, fever, and/or nausea/vomiting; 27.1% grade 3/4 per National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 3.0) and increased bilirubin and liver aminotransferase levels (0.2% and 5.9% grade 3/4, respectively). Overall response rates were 94.5% at 3 months and 99.5% at 6 months. Median overall survival was 42.0 months (95% confidence interval, 38.0–43.0 mo). Conclusions Chemoembolization with small DEE agents is well tolerated and an effective treatment for a broad range of patients with liver-confined HCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine