Prognostic Value of TACE With Irinotecan-loaded Drug-eluting Beads (DEBIRI) in Patients With Liver Metastases from Unresectable Colorectal Cancer

Anticancer Res. 2023 Aug;43(8):3647-3651. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.16545.


Background/aim: The standard of care for patients with colorectal cancer and liver metastases, who fail to respond to systemic chemotherapy has not yet been established. Therefore, we investigated the prognostic value of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) using irinotecan-loaded drug-eluting beads (DEBIRI) in treating liver metastases due to colorectal cancer.

Patients and methods: Forty-six patients with colorectal cancer and unresectable liver metastases, who received systemic chemotherapy beyond the third line at our hospital between July 2014 and April 2020 were analyzed. They were divided into two groups: 1) Seventeen patients who received TACE with DEBIRI, and 2) twenty-nine patients who did not receive TACE.

Results: The median age was 68 years (range=37-85 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 29:17. The primary sites were the cecum in six cases, ascending colon in seven cases, transverse colon in two cases, descending colon in three cases, sigmoid colon in 14 cases, and rectum in 14 cases. All patients had received at least two prior systemic chemotherapy regimens including oxaliplatin-based and irinotecan-based regimens, and trifluridine tipiracil hydrochloride (38 patients) or regorafenib (12 patients) as the third line or beyond (overlap). Median survival was 272 days overall, 416 days in the TACE group, and 229 days in the non-TACE group, with significantly better survival in the TACE group (p=0.0126).

Conclusion: TACE with DEBIRI may improve the prognosis of patients with liver metastases from unresectable colorectal cancer. We suggest that TACE with DEBIRI should be highly considered, especially in patients in whom liver metastasis may be a prognostic factor.

Keywords: Liver metastasis; colon cancer; irinotecan loaded drug-eluting beads TACE (DEBIRI-TACE); overall survival; transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic* / therapeutic use
  • Camptothecin
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / drug therapy
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan / therapeutic use
  • Liver Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Topoisomerase I Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Irinotecan
  • Camptothecin
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Topoisomerase I Inhibitors