WHAT IS CHEMO-EMBOLISATION?
Chemotherapy is a mainstay of treatment in cancer. These drugs target tumours, but can also have side effects on normal healthy tissue. Chemo-embolisation directly targets the tumour as it is injected into the arteries supplying it. This maximises the local dose to the tumour and decreases the toxicity to the rest of the body.
HOW IS CHEMO-EMBOLISATION PERFORMED?
Access to the arterial system is obtained via a small puncture in the artery at the top of the leg (the femoral artery). A small micro catheter is then carefully advanced into the hepatic artery and then selectively into the smaller artery supplying the tumour. Chemotherapy is then injected, which takes the agent into the liver tumour. An embolic agent is usually injected afterwards. This is done in order to increase the dwell time of the chemotherapy in the tumour. It is also hoped that the embolic agent will also block the blood supply to the tumour in order to cause cell death within it.
WHO MAY BENEFIT FROM CHEMO-EMBOLISATION?
- Patients with inoperable primary liver tumours
- Patients with inoperable secondary liver tumours
- Patients with tumour progression the liver despite treatment