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Polyethylene glycol microspheres loaded with irinotecan for arterially directed embolic therapy of metastatic liver cancer

Giammaria Fiorentini et al World J Gastrointest Oncol (2017); 9(9): 379-384 DOI: 10.4251/wjgo.v9.i9.379

4/12/2021 -  


The advantages of chemoembolization (TACE)  in mCRC are several, such as reducing drug leakage, liver and systemic toxicity.  TACE is widely used for patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRC-LM) after failure of surgery or systemic chemotherapy and can be used for both pre- and post-operative downsizing, reducing the time to surgery, and prolonging overall survival.


To study the safety profile and efficacy of polyethylene glycol embolics loaded with irinotecan for the treatment CRC-LM.


  • Patients with CRC-LM, refractory to systemic chemotherapy with liver involvement < 50%, treated with LifePearlTM Microspheres, loaded with 100mg irinotecan.

  • Tumor response evaluated by RECIST1.1, and quality of life (QoL) was monitored and evaluated with the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS).



Fiorentini et al study (n=50) demonstrated:

  • A total of 50  CRC-LM patients were included

  • Efficacy with a median time of follow up of 14 months: 

    1. Tumor Response

  • Median time to progression for patients who progressed was 2.5 months.

  • Safety profile:

    • TACE procedures were performed with no complications. Observed side effects (mild or moderate intensity) were: Pain in 32% of patients, increase of transaminase levels in 20% and fever in 14%, whereas 30% of patients did not complain any adverse event.

  • QoL a 90% of PPS at each time point after TACE suggesting good physical and social functions, and health perception

  • The study has several limitations, such as the small number of patients observed and the short time of follow-up.


Fiorentini et al concluded that the therapy of unresectable CRC-LM with LifePearl microspheres loaded with irinotecan was effective with high tumor response and limited toxicity providing good QoL showing non-inferior results than previous drug eluting beads.

Key Takeaway

According to Fiorentini et al, the treatment of unresectable CRC-LM with trans-arterial treatment using LifePearl microspheres loaded with irinotecan was effective with good QoL and safety profile.

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European Economic Area Indications for use

LifePearl™ microspheres are indicated for embolization of blood vessels supplying primary hypervascular tumours or metastases in the liver. Note: LifePearl™ microspheres can be loaded with chemotherapeutic drugs. When used for drug loading, drug loading should be done under a physician's direction, choice and responsibility, based on type and dose of drug most beneficial to the patient. LifePearl™ microspheres are compatible with doxorubicin, epirubicin idarubicin and irinotecan. LifePearl™ microspheres can be drug loaded prior to embolization and then, as a secondary action, elute a local, controlled, and sustained dose to the targeted tumour sites after embolization. LifePearl™ microspheres are not available for sale in all countries. This information is provided only in respect to markets where this product is approved or cleared.

This literature summary is not a systemic review. It is only an example of LifePearl microspheres related literatures.

The use of the LifePearl™ devices in combination with drugs is not cleared or approved in the USA by the Food and Drug Administration. LifePearl™ microspheres are not approved in Canada. Please consult the indication of use with the IFU supplemented with the product

Please contact your Terumo local sales representative for more information. All brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of TERUMO CORPORATION and their respective owners. Refer to Instructions for Use for Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions.

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