What is chemoembolization?

Chemoembolization is an image-guided procedure that delivers a high dose of chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs) to a tumor while also blocking its blood supply.  Although not a cure, chemoembolization is very effective in treating primary liver cancers and other types of cancer that have spread. Chemoembolization is performed by an interventional radiologist.
Advantages of chemoembolization

  • Most patients resume normal activities within one week
  • While not a cure, most patients show improvement
  • In most cases, the tumor stops growing and may even shrink
  • Treatment may be repeated multiple times and/or combined with other cancer therapies
  • Improves quality of life
  • May extend life from months-to-years for patients with inoperable tumors
  • Allows for more curative options, such as surgery or a liver transplant, in some patients

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