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Chemoembolization with Drug-eluting Microspheres Loaded with Doxorubicin for the Treatment of Cholangiocarcinoma

​Aliberti, C., Carandina, R., Sarti, D., Pizzirani, E., Ramondo, G., Mulazzani, L., Fiorentini, G. (2017, April)

12/03/2018 -  



To report clinical outcomes of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) using drug-eluting beads (DEBs) loaded with doxorubicin for the treatment of unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA).

Patients and Methods

We treated 127 patients with doxorubicin via TACE. Inclusion criteria were: diagnosis of unresectable CCA; indication for TACE, performance status (PS) 0-2, >3 months of life expectancy, >18 years old, written consent. TACE was performed using DEBs for 109 (86%) patients and polythylene glycol drug-elutable microspheres (PEG) loaded with doxorubicin for 18 (14%) patients.


Tumor response of the whole sample of 127 patients was partial response (PR) in 19 (15%) patients, stable disease (SD) in 101 (80%) and progressive disease (PD) in seven (5%) 3 months after therapy, with no complete responses. There were differences between type of embolics: PR was 7% and 77%, SD was 88% and 8%, and PD was 5% and 15%, and the disease control rate was 95% and 85% in the DEB and PEG groups, respectively. Most frequent side-effects were: abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and transaminase rise.


TACE was effective and safe for CCA treatment, with a high disease control rate. The best response of PEG-TACE was PR, whereas it was SD for DEB-TACE.

Copyright© 2017, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

Keywords: Cholangiocarcinoma; chemoembolization; intra-arterial chemotherapy; safety; tumor response