Backgrounds The placement of a self-expandable metal stent (SEMS) is widely used in patients with unresectable malignant biliary obstructions, but SEMSs are susceptible to occlusion by tumor ingrowth or overgrowth. The efficacy and safety of a novel paclitaxel-eluting biliary metal stent incorporating sodium caprate (MSCPM-III) were compared prospectively with those of a covered metal stent (CMS) in patients with malignant biliary obstructions. Methods Patients with unresectable distal malignant biliary obstructions (n=106) were prospectively enrolled in this study at multiple treatment centers. Stents were placed endoscopically: MSCPM-III in 54 patients and CMS in 51 patients. The patients received systemic chemotherapy regimens according to their disease characteristics. Results The two groups did not differ significantly in basic characteristics or mean follow-up period. Stent occlusion occurred in 14 patients who received MSCPM-III and in 11 patients who received CMS.Time to recurrent biliary obstruction (RBO) and survival time did not differ significantly between the two groups (P =0.84 and P =0.29, respectively). However, tumor size at 2 months after stent insertion was significantly decreased in patients in the MSCPM-III group with bile duct cancers or those who experienced stent migration compared with the CMS group.Complications, including cholangitis and pancreatitis, were found to be acceptable in both groups. Conclusions Although compared with a CMS the MSCPM-III did not significantly influence time to RBO or survival duration in patients with malignant biliary obstructions, MSCPM-III reduced tumor volume and was used safely in humans.
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