Arterial chemotherapy of 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C in the treatment of liver metastases of colorectal cancer

World J Gastroenterol. 2002 Aug;8(4):663-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v8.i4.663.


Aim: Regional chemotherapy using hepatic artery catheters is a good method of treating patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases. We investigated the survival of patients with liver metastases from colorectal cancer using 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and mitomycin C Cthrough implantable hepatic arterial infusion port.

Methods: Seventy-five patients with inoperable liver metastases from colorectal cancer were included between March, 1992 and November, 2001. We placed implantable hepatic arterial catheter (HAC) port by laparotomy. 5-FU, 1 000 mg/ m(2)/d continuous infusion for five days every four weeks, was delivered in the hepatic arterial catheter through the port. Mitomycin C, 30 mg/m(2)/d infusion in the first day every cycle through the port. Response to the treatment was evaluated by serial determinations of plasma CEA and imaging techniques consisting of computerized tomography and sonography of liver.

Results: Sixty-eight were performed hepatic artery chemotherapy and fifty-six were followed up among seventy-five HAC patients. Twenty-six patients(46.4 %) have responded and 4 complete remission were achieved. Eight patients (14.3 %) had stable liver metastases. Twenty-two patients (39.3 %) were progressed with increased tumor size and number. Twenty-nine patients(51.8%) had a decreased serum CEA level, while 10 patients (17.9 %) were stable and 17 patients (30.4 %) had an increased serum CEA level. There were no operative death in this series. Complications, which occurred in 18 patients (32.1 %), were as followed: hepatic artery thrombosis in 11, Upper gastric and intestinal bleeding in 3, liver abscess in 1, pocket infection in 1, cholangitis in 1, and hepatic artery pseudo-aneurysm in one patient.

Conclusion: Combined infusion of 5-FU and mitomycin C by hepatic artery catheter port is an effective treatment for liver metastases from colorectal cancer. The high response and lower complication rates prove the adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer with this treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms*
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Hepatic Artery
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin / administration & dosage


  • Mitomycin
  • Fluorouracil