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Local treatment in unresectable hepatic metastases of carcinoid tumors: Experiences with hepatic artery embolization and radiofrequency ablation

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Author(s): Meij Vincent | Zuetenhorst Johanna | van Hillegersberg Richard | Kröger Robert | Prevoo Warner | van Coevorden Frits | Taal Babs

Journal: World Journal of Surgical Oncology
ISSN 1477-7819

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2005;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Hepatic metastases of carcinoid tumors cause incapacitating symptoms, but are usually diffuse and therefore unresectable. In this article we evaluate our experiences with local treatment techniques in the management of carcinoid patients with hepatic metastases and failing systemic treatment. Methods Fifteen consecutive carcinoid patients (11 men and 4 women; median age 60 years; range 45–71 years) were treated with either hepatic artery embolization (HAE) with Ivalon particles or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) (percutaneously or intra-operatively). Follow-up evaluation was performed by CT scan and 24-hours urinary 5-HIAA excretions. Results A total of 18 HAE's was performed in 13 patients, while 10 lesions in 3 patients were treated with RFA. Median follow-up was 12.5 months (2 – 25 months). Median duration of symptoms was 22 months (8 – 193 months). Median overall decrease of 5-HIAA excretion 2 months after HAE was 32% with tumor regression on CT-scan in 4 patients (30%) and improvement of symptoms with a median duration of 15 months in 3 of them (23%). Embolization led to fatal hepatic failure in one patient. The 3 patients treated with RFA showed a decrease of urinary 5-HIAA values of 34, 81 and 93% respectively, with tumor regression in all of them. Improvement of symptoms was reported in 2 patients up to 25 months. Conclusion Liver embolization performed late in the clinical course had limited effect on symptoms and biochemical and radiological parameters. First experiences with RFA are favorable and might encourage to apply RFA more widely in metastatic carcinoid.

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