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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2007 Jul;18(7):847-55.

Chemoembolization and bland embolization of neuroendocrine tumor metastases to the liver.

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Division of Interventional Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, 1 Silverstein, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



To assess the toxicity and efficacy of chemoembolization and bland embolization in patients with neuroendocrine tumor metastases to the liver.


A total of 67 patients underwent 219 embolization procedures: 23 patients received primarily bland embolization with PVA with or without iodized oil and 44 primarily received chemoembolization with cisplatin, doxorubicin, mitomycin-C, iodized oil, and polyvinyl alcohol. Clinical, laboratory, and imaging follow-up was performed 1 month after completion of therapy and every 3 months thereafter. Patients with disease relapse were treated again when feasible. Toxicity was assessed according to National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events, version 3.0. Efficacy was assessed by clinical and morphologic response. Time to progression (TTP), time to treatment failure, and survival were estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis.


Ten of 67 patients (15%) were lost to follow-up. The mortality rate at 30 days was 1.4%. Toxicities of grade 3 or worse in severity occurred after 25% of chemoembolization procedures and 22% of bland embolization procedures (odds ratio, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.4-4.0). Mean length of stay was 1.5 day in both groups. Rates of freedom from progression at 1, 2, and 3 years were 49%, 49%, and 35% after chemoembolization and 0%, 0%, and 0% after bland embolization (log-rank test, P = .16). Among the subgroup with carcinoid tumors, the proportions without progression were 65%, 65%, and 52% after chemoembolization and 0%, 0%, and 0% after bland embolization (log-rank test, P = .08). Patients treated with chemoembolization and bland embolization experienced symptomatic relief for means of 15 and 7.5 months, respectively (P = .14). Survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years after therapy were 86%, 67%, and 50%, respectively, after chemoembolization and 68%, 46%, and 33%, respectively, after bland embolization (log-rank test, P = .18).


Chemoembolization was not associated with a higher degree of toxicity than bland embolization. Chemoembolization demonstrated trends toward improvement in TTP, symptom control, and survival. Based on these results, a multicenter prospective randomized trial is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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