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Chemoembolization, also known as cTACE and debTACE, is a way of delivering cancer treatment directly to a tumor or tumors, most commonly within the liver. Under x-ray guidance, a small catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin. The catheter is threaded into the liver artery that supplies blood flow to the tumor. Chemotherapy-loaded microspheres are injected through the catheter into the tumor’s blood supply.

Chemoembolization works to attack the cancer in two ways. First, it delivers a very high concentration of chemotherapy directly into the tumor, while minimizing the exposure of the entire body to the effects of those drugs. Second, the procedure cuts off blood supply to the tumor, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients, and trapping the drugs at the tumor site to enable them to be more effective.

Can Chemoembolization work for me?

Cancers which may be treated by chemoembolization include:

  • Hepatoma (primary liver cancer –  also known as hepatocellular carcinoma)
  • Metastasis (Mets or Spread) to the liver from:
    • colon cancer
    • carcinoid or neuroendocrine tumors
    • pancreatic cancer
    • cholangiocarcinoma
    • ocular melanoma
    • sarcomas
    • breast cancer
    • many other types of cancer have been treated with this method


Depending on the number and type of tumors, chemoembolization may be combined with other treatment options such as surgery or radiation. There are many weapons in our arsenal of cancer treatment. The CiC team is in your corner when it comes to the fight against cancer.