Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma treated effectively with irinotecan via hepatic arterial infusion followed by proton beam therapy.


We report a 48-year-old man with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) chemotherapy followed by proton beam therapy. The HCC lesion in this patient was 88 mm in diameter, with portal vein tumor thrombosis in the right lobe of the liver. He was first treated with 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin, and isovorin, administered by HAI, combined with interferon-alpha, and he was subsequently treated with epirubicin and mitomycin-C administered by HAI. However, no definite efficacy of either of these treatments was observed. Then, after 3 weeks' continuous administration of irinotecan by HAI, the tumor size decreased to 68 mm in diameter. However, 3 months after reduction of the tumor, the tumor had become enlarged to 100 mm in diameter and intrahepatic metastases were prominent. Angiographic findings indicated that the HCC was fed not only from the right hepatic artery but also from the left gastric and right and left subphrenic arteries. After rearrangement of the arteries, and 3 months' continuous HAI chemotherapy with irinotecan, plus hyperthermia, the tumor size had decreased to 50 mm in diameter. The reduction rate of the main tumor according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors was 43%; therefore, the efficacy of this treatment was judged as a partial response. Two months after reduction of the tumor, the patient's serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level was elevated, and so docetaxel was administered by HAI instead of irinotecan. The liver tumors showed gradual enlargement during the administration of docetaxel, although the AFP level was suppressed. Proton beam therapy was instituted and the liver tumors showed necrosis after this therapy. The patient died of hepatic failure and distant metastases 6 years after the onset of HCC. As far as we know, this is the first case report of HCC treated effectively with irinotecan administered by HAI followed by proton beam therapy in which tumor suppression and the long-term survival of the patient were observed.

DOI: 10.1007/s10156-009-0702-z

Cite this paper

@article{Ohtsubo2009AdvancedHC, title={Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma treated effectively with irinotecan via hepatic arterial infusion followed by proton beam therapy.}, author={Koushiro Ohtsubo and Hiroyuki Watanabe and Tomoya Tsuchiyama and Hisatsugu Mouri and Yasushi Yamaguchi and Yoshiharu Motoo and Takashi Okai and Junichiro Sanada and Osamu Matsui and Tokuji Kitamura and Ryusuke Fujiki and Koichi Tokuuye and Norio Sawabu}, journal={Journal of infection and chemotherapy : official journal of the Japan Society of Chemotherapy}, year={2009}, volume={15 5}, pages={316-21} }