A randomized trial of intrahepatic arterial infusion of 4′-epidoxorubicin with Lipiodol versus 4′-epidoxorubicin alone in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

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We conducted a prospective randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of Lipiodol in intrahepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A total of 38 patients with unresectable HCCs and underlying cirrhosis were entered in this trial, and 36 of them were evaluable. Every 4 weeks, 17 patients received 70 mg of 4′-epidoxorubicin (epirubicin) alone (group A), whereas 19 patients received a Lipiodol emulsion containing the same dose of epirubicin (group B) through the hepatic artery. A tumor response (CR+PR) was observed in 12% of group A patients and in 42% of group B patients. The group B patients showed a significantly higher response rate than the group A patients. There was a tendency for an increased duration of survival (P=0.09) in the group B patients. These results suggested that the infusion of the Lipiodol emulsion with epirubicin was more effective than epirubicin alone for the treatment of these patients with HCC.

Work presented at the Third International Symposium on Treatment of Liver Cancer, Scoul, Korea, 12–13 February 1993