• hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • chemotherapy;
  • metastasis;
  • 5-fluorouracil;
  • mitoxantrone;
  • cisplatin



The aim of the current study was to evaluate the antitumor activity and toxicity of continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil, mitoxantrone, and cisplatin (FMP therapy) in chemotherapy-naive patients with metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


Fifty-one patients with metastatic HCC who had not undergone previous systemic chemotherapy were enrolled. The therapy consisted of intravenous administration of 80 mg/m2 cisplatin and 6 mg/m2 mitoxantrone on Day 1 and continuous intravenous infusion of 450 mg/m2 5-fluorouracil per day on Days 1–5. The treatment was repeated every 4 weeks for a maximum of 6 courses with dose adjustments based on the observed toxic effects if there was no evidence of tumor progression or unacceptable toxicity.


Of the 51 enrolled patients, 14 (27%) achieved a partial response (95% confidence interval, 16–42%) with a median duration of 7.6 months (range, 2.3–18.4 months). Twenty-seven patients (53%) showed no change and 9 (18%) had progressive disease. The median survival time, 1-year survival rate, and median progression-free survival time for all patients were 11.6 months, 44.3%, and 4.0 months, respectively. The main Grade 3 and 4 toxicities were leukocytopenia (67%), neutropenia (71%), thrombocytopenia (27%), and elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferase (37%) and alanine aminotransferase (41%). These symptoms were generally brief and reversible, with the exception of one treatment-related death due to acute hepatic failure.


FMP therapy had significant antitumor activity with acceptable toxicity in patients with metastatic HCC. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.