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Cytotoxic microspheres have been developed for intra-arterial use in patients with liver metastases. Following injection, the distribution of microspheres reflects the pattern of hepatic arterial blood-flow. Vasoactive agents, such as angiotensin II, by producing vasoconstriction in normal liver, might divert arterial blood toward tumour and thereby enhance the delivery of drug-loaded particles. Using a double isotope technique, the distribution of radiolabelled microspheres to tumour and normal liver tissue was measured before and after angiotensin II infusion in nine patients with multiple liver metastases. The median increase in tumour: normal ratio following angiotensin II infusion was by a factor of 2.8 (range 0.8-11.7, P less than 0.05). This novel approach to regional chemotherapy, using a combination of angiotensin II infusion and cytotoxic microspheres, increases the exposure of tumour to cytotoxic agents and may, therefore, enhance tumour response rates.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





308 - 310


Adult, Aged, Angiotensin II, Antineoplastic Agents, Drug Carriers, Humans, Liver Neoplasms, Microspheres, Middle Aged