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Ann Oncol. 2000 Dec;11(12):1563-70.

Hepatic arterial 5-fluorouracil in patients with liver metastases of colorectal cancer: single-centre experience in 145 patients.

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Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Hepatic arterial chemotherapy for liver metastases of colorectal cancer is still under discussion. Mainly because of the technical complications of this mode of treatment and the lack of a survival benefit in randomized studies. We performed an analysis of hepatic arterial 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy in 145 consecutive patients treated at a single institution.


One hundred forty-five patients with inoperable liver metastases from colorectal cancer were included. 5-FU, 1000 mg/m2/day continuous infusion for five days every three weeks, was delivered in the hepatic artery by percutaneous catheter or arterial access device.


The response rate was 34% for all patients, 40% in patients with extrahepatic disease, and 15% in patients with i.v. 5-FU-based pretreatment. TTP and OS for all patients were 7.5 and 14.3 months, respectively. In patients with extrahepatic disease or i.v. 5-FU-based pretreatment, OS was significantly shorter compared to patients without extrahepatic disease or 5-FU-based pretreatment (9.7 vs. 19.3 months and 10.1 vs. 17.4 months, respectively), forty-seven percent of patients stopped treatment because of a complication. Complications most often seen in patients with arterial ports were hepatic artery thrombosis (48%) and dislocation of the catheter (22%).


The results of our analysis are in line with previous phase III studies. Extrahepatic disease and i.v. 5-FU-based pretreatment were prognostic for reduced OS. The complication rate of hepatic arterial delivery was worrisome. although, no negative impact on survival could be established. There is a strong need for improvement of hepatic arterial delivery methods before further evaluation of hepatic arterial

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