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February 1963

Problems of Continuous Chemotherapy by Arterial Catheters

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Clinical Chemotherapy, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York, and the Departments of Head and Neck Surgery and of Gynaecology, King George VI Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.

Arch Surg. 1963;86(2):323-330. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310080147033

Introduction  Intra-arterial administration of chemotherapeutic agents is used by an increasing number of investigators as a means of obtaining a higher drug concentration in the tumor than in the remainder of the body. In contrast to the alkylating agents, antimetabolites have to be given over a period of at least several days in order to be effective.Sullivan first demonstrated, in 1958, that such treatment with methotrexate can be successful but that for optimal results 2 to 3 adequate courses of treatment are the minimum requirement. This implies that the intra-arterial catheter has to function properly for at least 6 weeks if not longer.In a report on 76 patients undergoing treatment through intra-arterial catheters, Duff et al. already noted complications such as bleeding, infection, or leakage, jeopardizing in a few cases even 1 adequate course of treatment. The nature of these complications suggested that they might arise more frequently

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