Chemoembolization is used most often in unresectable patients with tumors
confined to the liver. Patients with severe hepatic dysfunction, compromised
portal venous (liver vein) blood flow and/or biliary obstruction are
a minimally invasive procedure, usually done in the interventional radiology
department. General anesthesia is not required. The arteries supplying
the tumor with blood are identified and a catheter is positioned into
those selected vessels. An embolic agent is mixed with chemotherapeutic
agent(s) and then infused through the catheter to the tumor site. The
embolic agent is used to cut off the blood supply of the tumor (embolizing)
so that the chemotherapy stays within the tumor area.
of the embolization is initially established by using contrast dye to
confirm that blood flow to the tumor has been cut off (ischemia), while
flow to normal arteries is preserved.
mortality rate for chemoembolization ranges from 1 to 4%.
common complications for chemoembolization are:
greater than 39 degrees C (102.2 degrees F)
complications include, but are not limited to:
to the gut
Time/ Lifestyle Changes
length of hospital stay for chemoembolization is 1.5 days. If there
are many tumors or the tumors are large, multiple treatments will have
to be done, requiring the patient return for subsequent treatments one
to four times after the initial treatment.
rates vary widely with this procedure. Studies have reported survival
rates ranging from 35-88% for 1 year, 20-64% for 2 years, and 11-51%
for 3 years. Median survival is less than 10 months. Several studies
show no survival benefit of chemoembolization over embolization alone.
2001 RITA Medical Systems, Inc. | Contact Us | Disclaimer |Last modified: Friday, October 10, 2003