Current strategies using hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Ronan J. Kelly, Nancy E. Kemeny, Gregory D. Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In recent years, a number of phase III clinical trials have reported median survival times approaching 20 months using modern combination chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). Despite the advances in systemic therapy, this approach is still considered palliative because long-term survival or cure is extremely rare. Surgery or the use of ablative techniques may result in prolonged survival for patients with liver metastases, but only a minority of cases are suitable for local therapy. Hepatic arterial infusion (HAI) therapy involves local delivery of drug to liver metastases, resulting in higher intrahepatic drug levels and a consequent doubling in response rates compared with systemic chemotherapy. Despite higher response rates, demonstrating a survival advantage for HAI has been more challenging. Recently, a number of studies have been published that appear to address some of the inadequacies of earlier trials and have demonstrated encouraging results. This review assimilates the current data on HAI for CRC and includes an assessment of new chemotherapeutic agents delivered via HAI, neoadjuvant HAI, HAI combined with systemic chemotherapy, the use of HAI for early-stage colorectal cancer, and future trials. Continued progress in the field of HAI therapy may reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with CRC, so continued research in this area should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-174
Number of pages9
JournalClinical colorectal cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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