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Dr. Abou-Alfa on the Utility of Doxorubicin-Eluting Beads in HCC

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD
Published Online: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, Gastrointestinal Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses a study that examined the utility of doxorubicin-eluting beads in hepatic arterial embolization (HAE) as a treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

In the study, 101 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive doxorubicin (DC) eluting LC beads or inert beads. Overall, the trial did not record a significant difference in outcomes or adverse events between the two arms. For the DC/LC and inert beads respectively, response rates were 9% compared to 11%, the progression-free survival was 9 months compared to 7, and the overall survival was 16 months versus 14.

Prior to the study, the benefits of adding doxorubicin to the HAE process had not been established. These results were intriguing and eye opening, Abou-Alfa believes, particularly since the use of chemotherapy in HAE has been viewed as a critical addition for many years.

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