Therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer with hepatic artery infusion chemotherapy using a subcutaneous implanted pump.
Sixty-two patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma involving the liver were treated by hepatic intra-arterial chemotherapy using an implantable infusion pump. The 53 patients with metastases confined to the liver had a median survival (MS) of 17 months and an objective response rate of 32%. Four patients (8%) demonstrated a complete response (CR), with normal abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan results and plasma carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels, and 13 patients (25%) demonstrated a partial response (PR), with at least a 50% decrease in the liver lesions by CT scan and at least a 50% decrease in CEA levels. Thirty patients (57%) had stable disease (S), and six patients (11%) had no response (NR). Nine patients with extrahepatic tumor plus hepatic metastases had an MS of only 4.9 months. None of these patients had an objective response, and only four patients had S. Quality of response was clearly associated with longevity. Forty patients treated with floxuridine (FUDR) and mitomycin (M) (F + M) showed a 20% objective response rate, while the 13 patients treated with FUDR and dichloromethotrexate (DCMTX) (F + D) attained a 69% objective response rate. Although F + D treatment appears to be superior, there may have been selection biases that make such an observation only preliminary. Twenty-six (49%) of the 53 patients developed hepatitis during infusion chemotherapy, which resolved after temporary cessation of the chemotherapy. Of the 17 patients with CR or PR, 12 patients (71%) had hepatitis, whereas only 14 (39%) of the 36 patients with S or NR had hepatitis. Eleven patients had evidence of peptic ulceration by endoscopic examination during the infusion chemotherapy. All the ulcers healed after chemotherapy was discontinued.