Chemoembolization through artery (TACE)
It is a modern interventional radiology technique used in the treatment of liver cancer, which prolongs and improves the comfort of life for patients with non-operative tumors of the liver (large tumors) or multiple tumors not eligible for surgical treatment without the spread of cancer to other distant organs.
Chemoembolization uses the fact that most of the blood supplying the liver tumor comes from the hepatic artery and not from the portal vein. It consists in delivering a cytostatic (usually doxorubicin or multi-drug mixture of cytostatics) in the form of an embolisation material directly to the x-ray and contrast identified arterial branch that supplies the tumor (with or without lipidol) and then closing its vessels causing partial destruction and slowdown of tumor growth. Administration of lipidol allows for the storage of the chemotherapeutic in the tumor. The advantage of the method is the concentration of the drug only within the tumor at low concentration in healthy tissue. Artery chemoembolization is also used in the case of surgical tumors as a preliminary treatment and also with patients awaiting for liver transplants.
The treatment lasts 1.5-2.5 hours and can be repeated within 2-3 weeks.