WHAT IS LIVER DIRECTED THERAPY?
Liver directed therapy is a way of controlling non-operative primary and secondary liver tumours.
It takes advantage of the fact that the liver has a dual blood supply. Liver tumours are normally supplied by the hepatic artery, whereas normal liver is supplied by the portal vein.
Treatment can then be injected into the hepatic artery, targeting the liver tumours, with less side effects on normal liver tissue. This can normally be done with either chemotherapy or radioactive particles. This maximises the dose to the tumour and minimises the effect on healthy tissue.
WHY USE LIVER DIRECTED THERAPY?
In some patients, liver resection will not be possible. This may either be due to inadequate liver volume after surgery, or the volume of tumour in the liver.
In these patients, liver directed therapy can be used in order to reduce tumour volume.
HOW DOES LIVER DIRECTED THERAPY WORK?
The arterial tree is normally accessed with a puncture of the artery at the top of the leg. A small catheter is then directed to the arteries feeding the liver tumour. Chemotherapeutic agents or radioactive particles are then injected. The blood flow will take these agents to the tumours, where they can have a direct effect.