Clinical evaluation of targeted arterial infusion of verapamil in the interventional chemotherapy of primary hepatocellular carcinoma

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2011 Mar;59(2):127-32. doi: 10.1007/s12013-010-9125-9.


This study evaluates the clinical effectiveness of targeted arterial infusion of verapamil in interventional treatment of primary hepatocellular carcinoma. For this purpose, in 273 patients with middle- or late-stage primary hepatocellular carcinoma, verapamil, IL-2, and chemotherapeutic agents were infused into the target tumor vasculature through femoral artery using Seldinger technique. The medications were infused as serial dilutions, and effectiveness was evaluated after two treatment cycles. Among these 273 patients, 76 cases showed clinical cure or significant improvement, 119 cases improved, 64 cases stabilized, while 14 cases progressed or deteriorated. In 238 patients, KPS score and body weights were stabilized. Regarding side effects, 99 patients (36.3%) developed leukopenia; 160 patients had gastrointestinal reactions (58.6%); 80 patients (29.3%) presented with elevated ALT/AST profile; and 65 cases (23.8%) had pyrexia; however, these side effects abated quickly. No elevations in BUN/Cr and/or allergic reactions were observed. Pre- and post-intervention cardiac function did not change in all the patients. No significant change was observed in ECG. Liver function was also improved after two cycles of treatment. It was concluded that verapamil management via targeted arterial infusion could effectively reverse the multidrug resistance in cancer cells in primary hepatocellular carcinoma patients and therefore enhanced the efficacy of chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Body Weight
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verapamil / administration & dosage
  • Verapamil / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Verapamil