Hepatic artery chemotherapy for colorectal liver metastases: technical considerations and review of clinical trials

Surg Oncol. 2002 Nov;11(3):123-35. doi: 10.1016/s0960-7404(02)00032-4.


Hepatic artery infusion (HAI) of chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal hepatic metastases is associated with significantly higher response rates compared to systemic chemotherapy. However, response rates have not consistently translated into improved survival. Several randomized trials have evaluated the implantable pump for treating unresectable colorectal hepatic metastases. Meta-analysis of these studies have demonstrated an improved survival advantage with pump therapy as well as improved quality of life. Recent studies of HAI of chemotherapy as adjuvant therapy following liver metastases resection have also demonstrated a potential survival advantage. Toxicities of HAI can be treatment limiting, but measures have emerged for overcoming these side effects. These randomized clinical trials have established HAI as a reasonable therapeutic option in patients with unresectable disease, and as adjuvant therapy in patients with resectable disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Hepatic Artery / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infusion Pumps, Implantable* / economics
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial / adverse effects
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial / methods
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*


  • Antineoplastic Agents