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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2009 Mar;20(3):360-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2008.11.019. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

Salvage therapy for liver-dominant colorectal metastatic adenocarcinoma: comparison between transcatheter arterial chemoembolization versus yttrium-90 radioembolization.

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Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and Russell H Morgan, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



To compare transarterial chemoembolization (CE) versus yttrium-90 ((90)Y) radioembolization (RE) for liver-dominant metastatic colorectal adenocarcinoma as salvage therapy.


Of 36 patients, 21 underwent CE (37 procedures; 11 men; mean age, 67 years; 16 with Child-Pugh class A disease) and 15 underwent (90)Y RE (19 procedures; 11 men; mean age, 64 years; 13 with Child-Pugh class A disease) for liver-dominant colorectal adenocarcinoma. Mean index dominant lesion sizes were 9.3 cm and 8.2 cm in the CE and RE groups, respectively. Multilobar disease was seen in 67% and 87% of the respective groups, and extrahepatic metastases were seen in 43% and 33%, respectively. Mean times from diagnosis of liver metastasis to CE or RE were 17.6 months and 22.6 months, respectively.


A total of 37 CE procedures with cisplatin, doxorubicin, and mitomycin were performed, and 19 RE procedures with (90)Y were performed; 43% of patients in the CE group and 20% in the RE group received multiple treatment sessions, and 100% of procedures were technically successful. Median survival times were 7.7 months for the CE group and 6.9 months for the RE group (P = .27). The 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival rates were 43%, 10%, and 0%, respectively, in the CE group; and 34%, 18%, and 0%, respectively, in the RE group. There was one major complication (2.7%) in the CE group (pulmonary embolism), with a 30-day mortality rate of 5.4% (n = 2). There were no major complications in the RE group, with a 30-day mortality rate of 5.2% (n = 1).


Patients with unresectable liver colorectal metastases that progress despite systemic chemotherapy can undergo palliative treatment with CE or RE with similar survival benefit.

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