Chemoembolization/ Drug Eluting Beads


Our physicians use state-of-the-art technology in their fight against cancer. We evaluate every cancer patient and find the most appropriate treatment plan possible, one that offers the best chances for a cure. Using the most advanced interventional radiology (IR) procedures and imaging modalities we treat tumors directly, and avoid many of the drawbacks of more systemic treatments.

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About the procedure

Chemoembolization (sometimes referred to as transarterial chemoembolization or TACE) is a treatment option for cancers that have originated in or metastasized (spread) to the liver. Using this procedure, Comprehensive Integrated Care Centers physicians are able to treat tumors that are too large, too numerous, or too invasive of major arteries to remove via surgery.

Why it’s done

TACE treatment is considered palliative as opposed to curative, but it can be effective in the treatment of liver cancers when used in combination with other therapies. A thin catheter is guided to the blood supply of the liver. X-ray dye is injected in order to visualize the arteries of the liver and tumor. Very small beads with the chemotherapy agent are then injected directly into the tumor. This does two things, first the small beads block the blood supply to the tumor depriving them of oxygen and nutrients; second, the beads slowly release the chemotherapy agent, allowing for a low systemic dose but maximizing the dose to the tumor. This allows for a high dose delivery to the tumor and a relatively low systemic dose.

What to expect 

Preparation: Tell your CiC physician about any medications you are taking beforehand, including any herbal supplements. You may be advised to stop taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners before the procedure. If you are pregnant, be sure to inform your doctors. (remove so that they can use X-ray procedures that will minimize radiation exposure to the baby.) You will be given sedation during the procedure, you will be advised not to eat for several hours beforehand.

During: Your doctor will access your arterial blood supply either through the artery in your leg or the radial artery in your wrist. After application of a local anesthetic at the access site, your doctor will guide a thin catheter into the arteries that supply blood the liver, and then to the tumors. The drug eluting beads (DEB) will then be injected

After: Patients may experience side effects after this procedure, which may include pain, nausea, vomiting and fever. In most cases, these conditions can easily be controlled by oral medications. You will be sent home a few hours after your procedure with pain control and antinausea medications. It is normal for fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite to persist for some time (remove 2 weeks or more) . You should be able to resume your normal activities within a week. but you will need to check in regularly with your CiC physicians for at least a month, so they can monitor how you are progressing.

Getting the best cancer care

Comprehensive Integrated Care Center’s experienced interventional oncologists will arrange, administer, and monitor every detail of your TACE treatment. We will then provide follow-up care, including additional treatments if necessary, depending on your progress.

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