If you have liver cancer, and your doctor has recommended chemotherapy, you may want to consider chemoembolization.
What Is Chemoembolization?
This minimally invasive, image-guided procedure can apply chemotherapy drugs directly to a cancerous tumor in the liver. Chemoembolization uses a catheter threaded from an artery in the groin or arm to precisely deliver chemotherapy drugs to a tumor. Because treatment is accomplished via an artery, chemoembolization is also called transarterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Benefits of the Procedure
As a form of interventional oncology, chemoembolization allows patients to avoid most of the awful side effects associated with traditional, IV-delivered chemotherapy, while helping to shrink tumors and kill malignant cells. Chemoembolization can dramatically improve the quality of life for patients with liver cancer.
How Does It Work?
Much like Y-90 radioembolization, chemoembolization does not remove the tumor, but can shrink it and kill cancer tissue in two main ways, by:
- Cutting off blood supply to the tumor, preventing it from growing
- Delivering tumor-killing medication (in this case, chemotherapy drugs) directly to the tumor*
* By using a catheter to deliver the chemo, this avoids intravenous administration, which circulates the chemotherapy throughout the entire body, causing harm to healthy body tissue in the process.
The effects of chemoembolization can last approximately a year, depending on the type, size, and location of the tumor. The procedure can be repeated should the tumor begin to grow again.
When Is It Used?
Chemoembolization is used to treat both primary and metastatic liver cancer. In most cases, it may be recommended if you are not a good candidate for surgery or radiofrequency thermal ablation. In some cases, chemoembolization may be advised to help keep the tumor small, while a patient waits for a liver transplant. Chemoembolization may be used in conjunction with other cancer treatments and therapies.
What Happens During a Chemoembolization?
At Florida Endovascular and Interventional, our interventional radiologists conduct chemoembolizations in our fully equipped, on-site surgery suites. It is an outpatient procedure we perform while patients are under conscious sedation.
During the procedure, our doctor uses real-time imaging to guide a catheter from an artery in the groin or arm to the artery supplying blood and nutrients to the liver. A tiny microcatheter is then advanced to any branches also feeding the tumor. A high dose of chemotherapy is delivered directly to the tumor, suspended in either an oily medium or bound to beads.
Tailored chemoembolization regimens are available, depending on your needs. Ask our interventional radiologists what type of regimen may be right for you.
Chemoembolization in South Florida
Do you have liver cancer and have been told chemotherapy might help you? If so, be sure to ask us about chemoembolization – a same-day, in-office procedure that delivers on of the most precise applications of chemotherapy drugs to a malignant tumor.
Find out more by calling Florida Endovascular and Interventional at (786) 534-2555 or request an appointment now.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our four convenient South Florida locations.