Comparative effectiveness of hepatic artery based therapies for unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

J Surg Oncol. 2015 Feb;111(2):213-20. doi: 10.1002/jso.23781. Epub 2014 Sep 1.


Background: Hepatic artery based therapies (HAT) are offered for patients with unresectable intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). We aimed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of HAT -hepatic arterial infusion (HAI), transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE), drug-eluting bead TACE (DEB-TACE), and Yttrium(90) radioembolization (Y-90) for unresectable ICC.

Methods: A meta-analysis was performed using a prospectively registered search strategy at PROSPERO (CRD42013004830) that utilized PubMed (2003-2013). Primary outcome was median overall survival (OS), and secondary outcomes were tumor response to therapy and toxicity.

Results: A total of 20 articles (of 793, n=657 patients) were selected for data extraction. Highest Median OS was observed for HAI (22.8, 95% CI 9.8-35.8) months versus Y90 (13.9, 9.5-18.3) months versus TACE (12.4, 10.9-13.9) months versus DEB-TACE (12.3, 11-13.5) months. Response to therapy (complete and partial) was highest for HAI (56.9%, 95%CI 41.0-72.8) versus Y90 (27.4%, 17.4-37.5) versus TACE (17.3%, 6.8-27.8). The grade III/IV toxicity (Events per patient) was highest for HAI (0.35, 95% CI 0.22-0.48) versus TACE (0.26, 0.21-0.32) versus DEB-TACE (0.32, 0.17-0.48).

Conclusion: For patients with unresectable ICC treated with HAT, HAI offered the best outcomes in terms of tumor response and survival but may be limited by toxicity.

Keywords: chemotherapy; cholangiocarcinoma; hepatectomy; liver blood supply; regional perfusion.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / mortality
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic*
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / mortality
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Drug Carriers
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Hepatic Artery*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / therapeutic use
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes