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What's Old Is New Again: Patients Receiving Hepatic Arterial Infusion Chemotherapy

Fedricker Diane Barber
Lou Ellen Fabugais-Nazario
CJON 2003, 7(6), 647-652 DOI: 10.1188/03.CJON.647-652

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ranks as the eighth most common cancer in the world. Although uncommon in North America, the incidence of HCC in the United States has increased by 70% since the 1980s (Yu, Yuan, Govindarajan, & Ross, 2000). The most frequent causes of malignant hepatic disease in the United States are metastases from melanoma and primary tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, breast, and lung. Surgical resection and systemic chemotherapy are the standard treatments for this disease. However, surgery is not an option for patients with advanced disease, and the response rate from systemic chemotherapy remains low. An alternative therapy for patients with HCC or cancers with liver metastases is hepatic arterial infusion of chemotherapy directly into the liver. This method allows a high total body clearance and hepatic extraction to generate high hepatic and low systemic exposures. Nursing care of patients receiving hepatic arterial infusion of chemotherapy includes patient education and monitoring for complications.

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