Liver cancer treatments
Chemoembolization, or trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE)
In some patients, chemotherapy is given directly into the liver to reduce tumours to a size that may make surgery possible. This is known as chemoembolization or trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Chemoembolization focuses a large dose of chemotherapy directly onto the tumour, which reduces the blood supply to the tumour, causing it to shrink.
It is performed by inserting a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) containing chemotherapy into an artery in the inner thigh through a small cut, which is then gently eased into the hepatic artery in the liver.
The artery is plugged up, so the chemotherapy can stay close to the tumour. It is minimally invasive, but there are often side effects including pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.