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Liver Cancer treatment details. Chemotherapy. US Oncology Research, Inc., Houston, TX, United States

Survival: 5.2 months
Toxicity Grade: 3
Treatments: Chemotherapy
Drugs: Pemetrexed
Country: United States
City/State/Province: Houston, TX
Hospital: US Oncology Research, Inc.
Journal: Link
Date: 8/2008

Patients: This phase 2 study involved 21 patients with advanced liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). The median age was 72, ranging from 44 to 88 years old. Most (81%) of the patients were men.

Treatment: Patients were treated with the chemotherapy drug pemetrexed. Before receiving the chemotherapy, they were given folic acid, vitamin B12, and dexamethasone.

Toxicity: Thirteen patients died while on the study, but none of these deaths were related to the treatment (deaths were due to progressive disease in 12 patients and liver failure in 1). Neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were the most common grade 3 toxicities, occurring in six and three patients, respectively. No grade 4 toxicities were reported.

Results: The median overall survival was 5.2 months. The researchers concluded that pemetrexed was not an active anti-cancer treatment in this group of patients.

Support: This study was supported by research funds from Eli Lilly, which markets pemetrexed as ALIMTA.

Correspondence: Dr. Allen L. Cohn

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