Clinical Investigation

CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 883-888

First online:

Chemoembolization (TACE) of Unresectable Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma with Slow-Release Doxorubicin-Eluting Beads: Preliminary Results

  • Camillo AlibertiAffiliated withUnit of Oncological Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Delta HospitalDepartment of Radiology, Delta Hospital Email author 
  • , Giorgio BeneaAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Delta Hospital
  • , Massimo TilliAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Delta Hospital
  • , Giammaria FiorentiniAffiliated withDepartment of Oncology, San Giuseppe General Hospital, AUSL Empoli

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of TACE with microspheres preloaded with doxorubicin in unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (UCH). Twenty patients with UCH were observed; 9 refused, preferring other palliative care or chemotherapy, and 11 agreed to be treated with one or more cycles of DC beads loaded with doxorubicin (100–150 mg) in a TACE procedure between February 2006 and September 2007. A total of 29 individual TACE procedures were performed. Follow-up imaging was performed on all patients before, immediately after, and 4 weeks after each TACE procedure to evaluate the response and need for further treatment. Each patient received i.v hydration, antibiotics, and medications against nausea and pain before TACE. Survival rate was calculated using Kaplan-Meier survival curve. A response rate of 100% followed RECIST criteria was observed. Eight of eleven patients are alive, with a median survival of 13 months. TACE was well tolerated by all patients. One patient developed hepatic abscess requiring antibiotic therapy. No evidence of marrow toxicity has been reported. Only one of nine patients treated with chemotherapy or palliative care is alive (with a median survival of 7 months in this group of patients). In conclusion, we suggest that doxorubicin-eluting beads TACE is a feasible and effective treatment in patients with UCH. Survival seems to be clearly prolonged in the treated group with respect to the palliative group. We consider that doxorubicin-eluting beads TACE of 100–150 mg may be an appropriate palliative therapy for these patients. Further studies are warranted to confirm these interesting preliminary data.


Chemoembolization Drug-eluting beads Doxorubicin Cholangiocarcinoma DC Beads