Regional perfusion with hemofiltration (chemofiltration) for the treatment of patients with regionally advanced cancer

Mordechai Gutman, Subhi Abu-Abid, Patrick Sorkine, Moshe Inbar, Dina Lev, Zipora Chen, Dan Oron, Samario Chaitchik, Joseph M. Klausner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Regionally advanced cancer is a common, often unresolved problem. Effective local control with chemotherapy is limited by the toxicity following systemic administration. Chemofiltration (CF) is a form of regional perfusion that enables the administration of cytotoxic drugs into one body area while limiting systemic toxicity. The drug is infused into the artery supplying the involved area. The venous effluent of the same organ is pumped out into a hemofiltration unit at a high flow rate. The drug is then filtered away and the blood returned to systemic circulation. METHODS. Forty-one patients underwent 45 CF. Twenty-four patients had CF of the pelvis for advanced rectal carcinoma (10), malignant melanoma (6), and cancers of the uterine cervix (3), ovary (2), vulva (1), endometrium (1), and anus (1). Seventeen patients underwent CF of the liver for metastatic colon (10), breast (4), pancreas (1), ovary (1), and unknown primary (1) cancer. 5- fluorouracil (1 g/m2) and mitomycin-C (30 mg/m2); cisplatinum (200 mg/m2) alone or combined with bleomycin (50 mg/m2) and mitomycin-C (20 mg/m2); or melphalan (1 mg/kg) were the combinations used. RESULTS. Generally the procedure was well tolerated. Complications included transient leukopenia (18), paralytic ileus (2), hair loss (2), renal failure (1). Two patients died within 40 days following CF. Of 36 evaluable patients, 16 (44%) had partial response, 14 (38%) had stable disease, and 6 (18%) had disease progression. A decrease of at least 30% in carcinoembryonic antigen levels occurred in 12 of 24 patients (50%). Median time to progression was 7 months. Ten of 13 patients (77%) achieved good symptomatic palliation. CONCLUSIONS. The results of CF in our study are not superior to alternative methods of drug delivery to the liver and pelvis. However, considering that previous systemic chemotherapy had failed two-thirds of the patients, some benefit may be attributed to this regional delivery modality. Furthermore, pelvic CF afforded very significant symptomatic relief which was definitely superior to other methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1130
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1996


  • chemofiltration
  • liver metastasis
  • pelvic cancer
  • regional perfusion
  • regionally advanced cancer


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