A study, evaluating the efficacy and safety of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) using LifePearl (Terumo) drug-eluting embolic agents in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma has just been published in the June issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. The study included data from 302 patients over a 20-month period of time.
This paper, from lead author F Veloso Gomes, hospital Curry Cabral, Lisbon, Portugal, includes one of the largest patient populations treated with TACE using precisely calibrated LifePearl drug-eluting microspheres in hepatocellular carcinoma.
As reported in JVIR, the median follow-up time was 11.9 months. One-month follow-up CT revealed complete response in 179 patients (63.2%), partial response in 63 (22.3%), stable disease in 16 (5.7%), and progressive disease in 25 (8.8%). The most frequent complications were post-embolization syndrome in 18 patients (6%), liver abscess in five (1.7%), and puncture site haematoma in three (1%). Biochemical toxicities occurred in 57 patients (11.6%). Survival analysis at 12 months showed a progression free survival rate of 65.9% and overall survival rate of 93.5%. Patients who received transplants showed a 57.7% rate of complete pathologic response. Veloso and colleagues concluded that “Chemoembolization with polyethylene glycol (PEG) embolic agents for hepatocellular carcinoma is safe and effective, achieving an objective response rate of 85.5%.”
Crucial role of drug-eluting embolics
Élia Coimbra, senior author and head of Interventional Radiology Unit from the research team, said: “Chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma with drug-eluting embolics plays a crucial role in both our liver transplant candidates, and intermediate stage patients, according to BCLC classification. Our goal is to improve patient outcomes continuously, which is why we are dedicating more resources to research at our Hospital.”
LifePearl microspheres are used in the treatment of primary and secondary liver cancer. They comprise a range of microspheres that are biocompatible, hydrophilic, precisely calibrated and capable of loading and releasing chemotherapeutic agents in a controlled manner, says a press release from the company. This supports the wider use of TACE so that it is reproducible and standardisable as well as providing physicians with another option to treat patients in the early stage of BCLC staging, the release adds.
Since its launch in 2015, LifePearl microspheres have been used in approximately 8,000 TACE procedures in Europe, Middle East and Africa. LifePearl microspheres have now seven publications in various scientific journals and have been the subject of multiple clinical trials and presentations in interventional radiology congresses, continues the release. These data show consistent and promising results, it states.