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J Hepatol. 2008 Aug;49(2):217-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2008.03.021. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Doxorubicin-eluting bead-enhanced radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma: a pilot clinical study.

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Division of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Department of Oncology and Radiology, Cisanello University Hospital - Building No. 9, Via Paradisa 2, IT-56124 Pisa, Italy.



Experimental studies have shown synergy between radiofrequency (RF) ablation and adjuvant chemotherapy in animal tumour models. We aimed to assess safety and efficacy of doxorubicin-eluting bead (DEB)-enhanced RF ablation in the treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


Twenty patients with single HCC ranging 3.3-7.0 cm (mean, 5.0 cm+/-1.4) showing evidence of residual viable tumour after standard RF ablation underwent intraarterial DEB administration (50-125 mg doxorubicin; mean, 60.2 mg+/-21.8). Follow-up period ranged 6-20 months (mean, 12 months+/-5).


No major complication occurred. No deterioration of liver function was observed. The volume of treatment-induced necrosis--as measured on imaging--increased from 48.1 cm3+/-35.7 after RF ablation to 75.5 cm3+/-52.4 after DEB administration, with an increase of 60.9%+/-39.0. The enhanced effect resulted in confirmed complete response (CR) of the target lesion in 12 (60%) of 20 patients. Incomplete response with persistence of <10% of initial tumour volume was observed in 6 (30%) of 20 patients, and local tumour progression in 2 (10%) of 20.


Intraarterial DEB administration substantially enhances the effect of RF ablation. DEB-enhanced RF ablation is safe and results in a high rate of CR in patients refractory to standard RF treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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