Liver Directed Therapies
Chemoembolization is the procedure where chemotherapy is injected into the artery that supplies blood to the tumor in your liver. This procedure is called transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Anatomy of blood supply to the liver :
A large vein called the portal vein provides about 75 percent of the liver's blood
An artery called the hepatic artery contributes 25 percent of the liver's blood
The liver tumors are primarily receives blood from from the hepatic artery. This is used as an advantage in treating unresectable liver tumor by injecting the chemotherapy into the hepatic artery and then blocking the heaptic artery that supplies the tumor leading to deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the tumor cells. The rest of the liver continues to get its blood from the portal vein.
By locally injecting the chemotherapy into the artery supplying the liver tumor, the drugs stay much longer in the tumor, higher dosage upto 100 times than standard chemotherapy can be injected and all body side effects of the chemotherapy can be avoided.
Procedure: The procedure is performed in the radiology suite where the Interventional radiologist will place a small cather in the artery in the groin or the arm. A catheter is advanced to the hepatic artery and then to the branch supplying the liver tumor. chemoembolization mixture is then injected into the artery supplying the liver cancer.
You may expect to have minimal pain, fever and nausea. Some minimal hair loss is also expected. Some serious complications from chemoembolization like liver failure, renal failure are rare.
If your tumor is too large to be removed by surgery or your medical condition precludes you to undergo a major liver resection, St. Jospeh Liver Cancer Center offers innovative therapies — such as radiofrequency ablation, transarterial chemoembolization, and yttrium-90. This helps to shrink the tumor making it resectable and therefore possibly help control the liver cancer and extend your life.
Liver resection is the ideal treatment for resectable liver cancer. However size , location and presence of cirrhosis may preclude surgical resection as an option. If the liver tumor is present in both right and left lobe of the liver, our surgical specialist will remove the lobe which has largest tumor. For the remaining tumor Radiofrequency ablation is recommended. Often time presence of cirrhosis will contraindicate liver resection. In these setting RFA can be applied to the liver tumor directly using percutaneous or laparoscopic approach.
A needle electrode is placed into the tumor via a percutaneous or laparoscopy or open (an abdominal incision) . This is done under ultrasound guidance. Once the satisfactory location of needle tip is confirmed in the tumor, multiple tines are deployed from the end of the needle. Radiofrequency energry is delivered to the tumor by attaching the needle electrode to the radiofrequency generator.The heat generated by the Radiofrequency ablation kills and destroys the tumor and the destroyed tissue is absorbed into normal body wastes.
RF ablation procedures have a relatively low rate of complications. Though the mainstay of liver cancers is complete removal of the tumor with liver resection, RFA modality is useful in patients who are not an ideal candidate for liver resection due to unresectabily of the tumor, high risk from poor physical condition.
What to expect after Radiofrequency ablation
minimal to no pain after the treatment.
a low-grade fever for a few days after the procedure.
RFA is associated with a very low risk of bleeding or infection after the treatment.
At Baycare, Radiofrequency ablation is performed by interventional radiologist and Hepatobiliary Surgeons. Please call 813-879-5010 to arrange your consultation.
Our promise, If you have a diagnosis of cancer, our team will arrange to see you within one - two business days by our Surgeon and start the appropriate treatment quickly. We completely understand the difficult situation you are going under with the diagnosis of cancer and will do all our efforts to accommodate and arrange your care.