Hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy in patients with advanced primary liver tumours

20 Nov 2012
Francesca Spada, Nicola Fazio, Guido Bonomo, Lorenzo Monfardini, Paolo Della Vigna, Davide Radice, Sabrina Boselli, Franco Orsi

Background: Primary liver tumours (PLTs) are currently a major health problem worldwide. The study’s aim was to investigate the feasibility, toxicity, and activity of hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy (HIAC) in patients with advanced PLTs.

Methods: We retrospectively analysed 43 patients with advanced unresectable PLT, who were consecutively treated. HIAC with 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin, and mitomycin-C was administered through a radiologically positioned temporary percutaneous catheter every six weeks until tumour progression or unacceptable toxicity was reached.

Results: Partial response was observed in 26% and stable disease in 41% of patients. The median overall survival was 12.3 months. Manageable catheter-related complications occurred in 23% of patients. The grade 3–4 toxicities included neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and transaminitis. There were no toxic deaths.

Conclusion: The results of this retrospective study show that HIAC is feasible, active, and manageable in patients with PLTs. The treatment could be studied in selected patients with advanced progressive HCC/BTC being treated with or ineligible for sorafenib/cisplatin plus

Keywords: hepatic arterial chemotherapy; liver tumours; hepatocellular carcinoma; biliary tract carcinoma