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Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE) For Liver Cancer

TACE is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks the vessel that supply blood to the liver (hepatic artery) to treat liver cancer. This block or slow down the blood supply to the tumor cells leading to their eventual death. The material used to block the blood supply also delivers chemotherapy drugs to the tumor, further assisting in the killing of the cancer cells.

  • Patients whose liver cancer can’t be removed with surgery but it hasn’t spread to the major blood vessels in the liver, lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
  • Patients awaiting liver transplant for the purpose of keeping the liver tumor small

TACE derives its beneficial effect by two primary mechanisms. Most tumors within the liver are supplied by the proper hepatic artery, so the injection of substances to block or reduce the blood flow to the artery (embolization) preferentially interrupts the tumor’s blood supply and stalls growth until neovascularization. Secondly, focused administration of chemotherapy allows for delivery of a higher dose to the tissue while simultaneously reducing systemic exposure, which is typically the dose limiting factor.