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Eur J Cancer. 2013 Oct;49(15):3122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2013.05.012. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Radioembolisation for liver metastases: results from a prospective 151 patient multi-institutional phase II study.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.



To investigate the safety, response rate, progression-free and overall survival of patients with liver metastases treated with (90)Y (glass) radioembolisation in a prospective, multicenter phase II study.


151 patients with liver metastases (colorectal n=61, neuroendocrine n=43 and other tumour types n=47) refractory to standard of care therapies were enrolled in this prospective, multicenter, phase II study under an investigational device exemption. Clinical/laboratory/imaging follow-up were obtained at 30 days followed by 3-month intervals for 1 year and every 6 months thereafter. The primary end-point was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary end-points included safety, hepatic progression-free survival (HPFS), response rate and overall survival.


Median age was 66 (range 25-88). Grade 3/4 adverse events included pain (12.8%), elevated alkaline phospatase (8.1%), hyperbilirubinemia (5.3%), lymphopaenia (4.1%), ascites (3.4%) and vomiting (3.4%). Treatment parameters including dose delivery were reproducible among centers. Disease control rates were 59%, 93% and 63% for colorectal, neuroendocrine and other primaries, respectively. Median PFS was 2.9 and 2.8 months for colorectal and other primaries, respectively. PFS was not achieved in the neuroendocrine group. Median survival from (90)Y treatment was 8.8 months for colorectal and 10.4 months for other primaries. Median survival for neuroendocrine patients has not been reached.


Patients with liver metastases can be safely treated with (90)Y microspheres. This study is the first to demonstrate technical and dose reproducibility of (90)Y glass microspheres between centers in a prospective setting. Based on these promising data, three international, multicenter, randomised phase III studies in colorectal and hepatocellular carcinoma have been initiated.


Chemotherapy; Liver metastases; Progressive disease; Radioembolisation; TheraSphere; Yttrium-90

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