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Oncol Rep. 1996 Sep;3(5):879-82.

Feasibility of intra-arterial chemotherapy followed by chemoembolization, every 28 days, in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Encouraging response rates and survival have been reported with intra-arterial (i.a.) chemotherapy and chemoembolization, but limited data are available on the association of the two treatment modalities. We therefore started a feasibility study of i.a. chemotherapy plus chemoembolization, performed every 28 days for 3 cycles, according to the following schedule: L-leucovorin (100 mg/m(2) i.v.), fluorouracil (800 mg/m(2) i.a.), and carboplatin (250 mg/m(2) i.a.). Chemoembolization with mitoxantrone (10 mg/m(2)) plus ethiodized oil was performed immediately after this treatment, followed by gelatin powder. Fourteen patients entered the study and were evaluable for side effects. Main patient characteristics were: males 13, females 1; median age 65 yr (range 45-75); stage TNM II-III 10, IVA 4; Childs' A 8, Childs' B 6; elevated baseline alpha-fetoprotein, 11; cirrhosis 14. No drug-related deaths have been observed. Ten patients were able to complete the program. The reasons for discontinuing treatment were worsening of liver functions in 3 cases and grade IV neutropenia in 1 patient. Eight patients had grade I-II pain and 10 patients had grade I-II fever. In conclusion the study demonstrated that chemoembolization plus i.a. chemotherapy is feasible in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhosis and deserves further investigation.

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