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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1996;37(4):289-96.

Targeted cancer chemotherapy with arterial microcapsule chemoembolization: review of 1013 patients.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Akita University School of Medicine, Japan.


To evaluate the feasibility of intraarterial infusion of microencapsulated anticancer drugs (chemoembolization), collective data on 1013 cancer patients were reviewed. Ethylcellulose microcapsules containing mitomycin C (median total dose 20 mg), cisplatin (60 mg) or peplomycin (40 mg) were given to tumor-feeding arteries by bolus infusion in 79% of the patients and by fractionated infusion in the others, as a palliative (71%) or preoperative measure (29%). The target sites were the liver (42%), kidney (24%), intrapelvic organs (18%), lung (4%), head and neck (3%), bone (1%) and others (9%), excluding the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. The incidence of overall adverse effects ranged from 0.2 to 54.9%, but grade 2-3 hematological, renal and hepatic toxicities, local pain, abdominal discomfort, cutaneous reaction, remote embolization and infection were < 10%. Nine patients (0.9%) in the early stages of trials suffered serious complications including treatment-related death in two with critical underlying diseases of the target organs. The remaining patients recovered from the adverse effects, except for grade 2 cutaneous reactions, within 2 months by routine palliative measures. A > or = 50% tumor reduction was seen in 28% of 427 evaluable tumors (42% for < 25-cm2 tumors and 20% for > or = 25-cm2 tumors) with a median treatment number of one. The response rate depended on both the tumor size and the treatment number (P < 0.05), but it was not affected by prior therapies. Mitomycin C microcapsules produced a higher response rate. Complete or partial remission of intractable pain and genitourinary gross hemorrhage was found in two-thirds of eligible patients. The results indicate that this treatment modality, though restricted by catheter technique, can be applied to various tumor lesions with an acceptable morbidity and prospective trials are justified to evaluate the potential role of such a targeted chemotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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