Injection (PEI)

Hepatic Arterial
Infusion (HAI)



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Patient Selection Criteria

At present, no established chemotherapeutic regimens have proven effective against Hepatocellular Carcinoma (liver cell cancer), a primary cancer. However, some chemotherapeutic drugs are used to treat metastatic liver cancer. The decision to administer chemotherapy is based on its potential of slowing tumor growth with the least undesirable side effects compared to not receiving treatment at all.

Description of Procedure

Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat metastatic liver tumors. These drugs work by interfering with the growth of cancer cells and contributing to cancer cell death. The most commonly used chemotherapy regimen used to treat metastatic colon cancer is 5-Fluorouracil and Leucovorin. It is given systemically through intravenous administration. Other drugs for metastatic liver cancer may also include Tomudex, Mitomycin C, CPT-11 and other experimental drugs.

Risks/Side Effects/Complications

Because chemotherapy attempts to kill cancer cells, many anti-cancer drugs also attack and kill healthy cells. Many side effects and complications of chemotherapy are the result of killing healthy cells. Cells susceptible to damage include cells in the bone marrow, cells in the digestive tract, reproductive system and hair follicles. Possible side effects include nausea and vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, increased chance of bleeding, infection, and anemia.

Recovery Time and Lifestyle Changes

Most of the side affects of chemotherapy will improve in a few days or weeks after treatment ends. Depending on the type of chemotherapy treatment used, schedules vary. Frequently, chemotherapy is administered in 1-2 day cycles that are repeated every four weeks. The most commonly used regimen of 5-Fluorouracil and Leucovorin for metastatic colon cancer requires treatment three days a week for several weeks.


Studies show variable degrees of effectiveness due to the diverse variables, including type of chemotherapy and stage of disease progression.

© 2001 RITA Medical Systems, Inc. | Contact Us | Disclaimer | Last modified: Friday, October 10, 2003

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