Doxorubicin-eluting bead-enhanced radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma: A pilot clinical study

Riccardo Lencioni, Laura Crocetti, Pasquale Petruzzi, Claudio Vignali, Elena Bozzi, Clotilde Della Pina, Irene Bargellini, Dania Cioni, Filippo Oliveri, Paolo De Simone, Carlo Bartolozzi, Maurizia Brunetto, Franco Filipponi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Experimental studies have shown synergy between radiofrequency (RF) ablation and adjuvant chemotherapy in animal tumour models. We aimed to assess safety and efficacy of doxorubicin-eluting bead (DEB)-enhanced RF ablation in the treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: Twenty patients with single HCC ranging 3.3-7.0 cm (mean, 5.0 cm ± 1.4) showing evidence of residual viable tumour after standard RF ablation underwent intraarterial DEB administration (50-125 mg doxorubicin; mean, 60.2 mg ± 21.8). Follow-up period ranged 6-20 months (mean, 12 months ± 5). Results: No major complication occurred. No deterioration of liver function was observed. The volume of treatment-induced necrosis - as measured on imaging - increased from 48.1 cm3 ± 35.7 after RF ablation to 75.5 cm3 ± 52.4 after DEB administration, with an increase of 60.9% ± 39.0. The enhanced effect resulted in confirmed complete response (CR) of the target lesion in 12 (60%) of 20 patients. Incomplete response with persistence of <10% of initial tumour volume was observed in 6 (30%) of 20 patients, and local tumour progression in 2 (10%) of 20. Conclusions: Intraarterial DEB administration substantially enhances the effect of RF ablation. DEB-enhanced RF ablation is safe and results in a high rate of CR in patients refractory to standard RF treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Doxorubicin
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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