Postoperative adjuvant hepatic arterial infusion of lipiodol containing anticancer drugs in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

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Abstract

Vascular invasion and intrahepatic metastasis by hepatocellular carcinoma are important factors predisposing to tumor recurrence. Recurrences of this malignancy occur frequently in residual liver, and its prevention is one of the most important factors in obtaining better surgical survival. Fifty patients who underwent hepatectomy for invasive hepatocellular carcinoma with vascular invasion and/or intrahepatic metastases were studied to evaluate the effect of adjuvant bolus hepatic arterial infusion of iodized poppyseed oil (Lipiodol) containing anticancer drugs in preventing recurrence and in prolonging survival. Patients were assigned to two treatment groups. Twenty-three of the fifty patients received adjuvant bolus infusion of Lipiodol containing doxorubicin and mitomycin C, whereas 27 patients received no therapy. The disease-free survival rate for the patients who received adjuvant therapy was significantly better (p<0.05) than that for those who did not when measured at 172, 516, 688 and 860 days after hepatectomy, and the disease-free survival curve for patients with adjuvant therapy was significantly (p=0.0237) better than that without adjuvant therapy. The cumulative survival rates and curves were not significantly different between the two groups. While adjuvant hepatic arterial infusion of Lipiodol containing anticancer drugs was effective in improving disease-free survival, the effect was not satisfactory. Further trials of adjuvant chemotherapy are required to improve the surgical survival of hepatocellular carcinoma patients. (Hepatology 1994;20:295–301.)

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