Hepatic arterial infusion of chemotherapy for hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer

Jade Homsi, Christopher R. Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Sixty percent of colon cancer patients develop liver metastasis. Only 25% of those have potentially resectable hepatic metastases, and approximately 58% of those patients relapse. Methods:We review the indications and the technical aspects of hepatic artery infusion (HAI) of chemotherapy, as well as the efficacy, morbidity, and outcomes. Results: HAI of chemotherapy has been used following hepatic metastasectomy, in patients with unresectable metastases, or in combination with other agents. Floxuridine, the chemotherapeutic agent most studied, is administered through an implantable subcutaneous infusion pump connected to a surgically placed hepatic artery catheter, which delivers the chemotherapeutic agents at a slow fixed rate. Treatment-related toxicities include chemical hepatitis, biliary sclerosis, and peptic ulceration. Some trials report a survival benefit for HAI over systemic chemotherapy with acceptable toxicity. Conclusions: Regional perfusion chemotherapy can be logistically and technically complicated to deliver. The development of newer systemic agents with superior efficacy in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer will likely diminish the role of regional perfusion therapy in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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