Yttrium-90 radioembolization as salvage therapy for colorectal cancer with liver metastases

Ludmila Katherine Martin, Anthony Cucci, Lai Wei, Jeffrey Rose, Marlo Blazer, Carl Schmidt, Hooman Khabiri, Mark Bloomston, Tanios Bekaii-Saab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Few patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) are candidates for resection of their hepatic disease. Yttrium-90 (90Y) radioembolization has promise in the treatment of unresectable mCRC. We conducted a retrospective study to assess the efficacy in patients with refractory mCRC who underwent 90Y radioembolization. Patients with unresectable mCRC with liver metastases treated at The Ohio State University were included in this analysis. Demographic data, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) values, observed toxicities, and information on prior therapies were collected. Response was assessed by RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) 1.1 criteria. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Twenty-four patients (median age, 63 years) were included. Of the patients, 54% had extrahepatic disease; 67% had bilobar involvement. The patients had received a median of 3 prior therapies. No objective responses were observed. Five patients had a CEA response. Median PFS and OS were 3.9 months (95% CI, 2.4-4.8 months) and 8.9 months (95% CI, 4.2-16.7 months), respectively. Patients older than 65 years had improved PFS (4.6 vs. 2.4 months) and OS (14 vs. 5.5 months) vs. younger patients, likely due to receipt of 90Y treatment earlier in their disease course. The presence of extrahepatic disease and the absence of CEA response appeared negatively predictive of efficacy. Toxicities were expected and manageable. 90Y radioembolization is active in select patients with refractory mCRC and with liver metastases, and is safe and well tolerated in the elderly. In patients with extensive extrahepatic disease, 90Y should be used in combination with chemotherapy. CEA may be a predictor of efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalClinical colorectal cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Hepatic
  • Locoregional
  • Radioembolization
  • Y-90

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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