Pilot study of hepatic intraarterial fotemustine chemotherapy for liver metastases from uveal melanoma: a single-center experience with seven patients

Int J Clin Oncol. 2001 Feb;6(1):25-8. doi: 10.1007/pl00012075.


Background: Uveal melanoma is characterized by a high frequency of hepatic metastases. For patients with liver metastases, who have a median survival of 5 to 7 months, surgery and systemic conventional chemotherapy have little to offer.

Methods: Between February 1995 and July 1999, seven patients with isolated hepatic metastases from uveal melanoma were enrolled into a pilot trial of intraarterial fotemustine therapy. An implantable Port-A-Cath catheter was inserted into the hepatic artery for regional chemotherapy via the gastroduodenal artery. Fotemustine 100 mg/m2 was administered intraarterially over a 4-h period. The induction phase consisted of one administration per week for 4 weeks, followed by a 5-week rest period. Maintenance therapy with administration of fotemustine every 3 weeks continued until progression or toxicity.

Results: Ten patients were evaluated for the trial. One patient was not eligible because of impaired liver function, and in two patients implantation of the port system was not possible for anatomic reasons. Seven patients received a median of 16 treatment cycles (range, 4-28) and all were evaluable for response. Two patients achieved a partial response (PR), three had stable disease (SD), and tumor progressed in two patients (PD). The median survival time from diagnosis of liver metastasis was 24 months (range, 4 to 50+ months). Two patients survived for more than 2 years and two patients are still alive. The toxicity was low and the treatment could be administered on an outpatient basis.

Conclusion: Intraarterial fotemustine treatment of uveal melanoma metastatic to the liver is well tolerated, and in some patients is associated with prolonged survival.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Hepatic Artery
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrosourea Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Nitrosourea Compounds / pharmacology
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / pharmacology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveal Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Nitrosourea Compounds
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • fotemustine