Hepatic Arterial Infusion Chemotherapy of 5-Fluorouracil for Patients with Unresectable Liver Metastases from Colorectal Cancer Refractory to Standard Systemic Chemotherapy: A Multicenter Retrospective Study

Oncology. 2020;98(5):267-272. doi: 10.1159/000505520. Epub 2020 Feb 24.


Introduction: Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) is a feasible treatment for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) with unresectable liver metastases.

Objective: The aim of this retrospective study was to assess HAIC of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) in patients with unresectable liver metastases from CRC refractory to standard systemic chemotherapy.

Methods: A total of 137 patients (85 men, 52 women; median age, 62 years; with KRAS mutation, n = 57) were recruited from seven institutions from September 2008 to December 2015. These patients were refractory to systemic chemotherapy including three cytotoxic agents (fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan) with two molecular-targeted agents (bevacizumab and epidermal growth factor receptor antibody [cetuximab or panitumumab]). All patients underwent HAIC of continuous 5FU for unresectable liver metastases. Overall survival time, time to treatment failure, objective response rate, disease control rate, and incidence of adverse events to HAIC were assessed retrospectively.

Results: The median overall survival time was 4.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.0-5.7 months), whereas time to treatment failure was 2.4 months (95% CI, 2.0-2.8 months). The objective overall response rate and disease control rate were 12.4 and 64%, respectively. Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were observed in 2.9% of the patients (hyperbilirubinemia in 2, liver abscess in 1, and myelosuppression in 1).

Conclusions: There were few incidences of severe adverse events to HAIC of 5FU for liver metastases from CRC refractory to standard systemic chemotherapy. Therefore, it might present as a treatment option as last-line chemotherapy.

Keywords: 5-Fluorouracil; Colorectal cancer; Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy; Unresectable liver metastases.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage*
  • Hepatic Artery / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial / methods
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fluorouracil