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Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao. 2002 Jun;22(6):524-6.

Effect of dosage of anticancer agents during transcatheter arterial chemoembolization on T cell subsets in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Interventional Radiology, Nanfang Hospital, First Military Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China.



To investigate the effects of the dosage of anticancer agents during transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) on the T cell subsets in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


Thirty-six patients with unresectable HCC were randomly divided into 2 groups to receive superselective TACE. Patients in group A (n=18) received low-dose (2-4 mg) mitomycin C (MMC) as the anticancer drug when the tumor was less than 5 cm in diameter; when the tumor ranged from 5 and 8 cm in diameter, 4-6 mg MMC along with 10 mg epirubicin (EPI) was given, and in cases of even larger tumors, 6-8 mg MMC, 10 mg EPI and 100 mg CBP were prescribed. Conventional chemotherapy regimen constituted by 10 mg MMC, 40 mg PI and 300 mg CBP was adopted in group B (n=18). The peripheral blood T cell subsets including CD3(+), CD4(+), CD8(+), NK, CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio, CD4(+)CD45(+), CD4(+)CD29(+), CD8(+)CD28(+) and CD8(+)CD28- were measured by flow cytometry in both groups before and one week after treatment.


The T cell subsets were comparable in the 2 groups before the treatment. After TACE, no significant changes occurred in CD3(+), CD4(+), CD8(+), NK, CD4(+)/CD8(+), CD4(+)CD29(+) or CD8(+)CD28- cells in group A, while significant decrease in CD4(+)CD45(+) and increase in CD8(+)CD28(+) cells were observed (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively). In group B, CD4(+) and CD4(+)CD29(+) levels, together with CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio, were significantly lower than those before treatment (P<0.05), but CD8(+) and CD8(+)CD28- subsets were significantly higher (P<0.05).


The cellular immune function of HCC patients is significantly impaired by anticancer drugs for TACE at conventional dose, while low-dose of the drugs may enhance the cellular immune function.

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