A retrospective analysis of 141 patients with liver metastases from uveal melanoma: a two-cohort study comparing transarterial chemoembolization with CPT-11 charged microbeads and historical treatments

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We retrospectively evaluated the benefit of transarterial chemoembolization with CPT-11 charged microbeads (TACE) in 58 of 141 uveal melanoma patients with liver metastases. This was a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database ranging from September 1990 to April 2014. Statistical analyses adjusting for possible confounding effects of extent of liver metastases were carried out using the Cox regression model under the verified hypothesis of proportional hazards. Among 141 patients with liver metastases, 58 were treated with TACE as first-line therapy and 36 were dead at the time of the analysis; 83 patients received other first-line treatments (deaths=83). The treatment with TACE conferred a survival advantage (median 16.5 vs. 12.2 months, respectively); when the two cohorts were analyzed comparing the two groups according to the percentage of liver involvement, there was significant evidence that patients with worse hepatic involvement benefited most from the treatment (liver metastases=20–50%: hazard ratio=0.50, P=0.048 and liver metastases ≥50%: hazard ratio=0.17, P=0.009). Liver function tests (transaminases and γ-glutamyl-transpeptidase) and age were higher in the historic group, and LDH tended to show higher values. There were no high-grade toxicities with TACE. TACE seems to be a tolerable regimen that confers an improvement in the survival of uveal melanoma patients with liver metastases. Confirmation of the clinical efficacy of TACE is recommended in a phase III trial, possibly with the inclusion of a targeted therapy such as a MEK inhibitor.

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