Background: In the era of effective modern systemic chemotherapy (CT), the role of hepatic arterial infusion of fluoxuridine (HAI-FUDR) in the treatment of isolated unresectable colorectal liver metastasis (IU-CRCLM) remains controversial. This study aimed to compare the overall survival (OS) of HAI-FUDR in combination with modern systemic CT versus modern systemic CT alone in patients with IU-CRCLM. Methods: This was a case–control study of IU-CRCLM patients who underwent HAI + modern systemic CT or modern systemic CT alone. Modern systemic CT was defined as the use of multidrug regimens containing oxaliplatin and/or irinotecan ± biologics. Results: Overall, 86 patients met the inclusion criteria (n = 40 for the HAI + CT group, and n = 46 for the CT-alone group). Both groups were similar in demographics, primary and stage IV tumor characteristics, and treatment-related variables (carcinoembryonic antigen, use of biologic agents, total number of lines of systemic CT administered) (all p > 0.05). Additionally, both groups were comparable with respect to liver tumor burden [median number of lesions (13.5 vs. 15), percentage of liver tumor replacement (37.5 vs. 40 %), and size of largest lesion] (all p > 0.05). Median OS in the HAI + CT group was 32.8 months compared with 15.3 months in the CT-alone group (p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed HAI + CT (hazard ratio 0.4, 95 % confidence interval 0.21–0.72; p = 0.003), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group status, and receipt of increasing number of lines of systemic CT to be independent predictors of survival. Conclusions: In this case–control study of patients with IU-CRCLM, HAI in combination with CT was associated with improved OS when compared with modern systemic CT alone.
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