Doxorubicin versus no antitumor therapy in inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma. A prospective randomized trial.   
To assess the efficacy and safety of Adriamycin (Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH) in inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 60 patients were randomized to receive Adriamycin 60 to 75 mg/m2 at 3-week intervals and 46 patients to receive no antitumor therapy. The median survival rate of the Adriamycin group was 10.6 weeks; that of the group receiving no antitumor therapy was 7.5 weeks (P = 0.036). Adriamycin induced tumor regression of 25% to 50% in 5% of patients and of over 50% in only 3.3% of patients. It caused fatal complications (septicemia and cardiotoxicity) in 25% of patients. The severity of neutropenia leading to septicemia for a particular dose was unpredictable. Four of eight patients who developed cardiotoxicity received less than 500 mg/m2 of Adriamycin. We conclude that Adriamycin is not an ideal drug for the treatment of inoperable HCC.

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