What is TACE?
TACE, or TransArterial ChemoEmbolization, is a minimally invasive treatment for liver cancer. It is not surgery. TACE blocks the blood vessels that feed the tumor with tiny beads soaked in cancer-killing medicine called chemotherapy. TACE targets the tumor directly, so it limits damage to the normal liver.
TACE kills liver cancer in two ways:
How is TACE done?
TACE is performed by a doctor called an Interventional Radiologist, or IR. The IR inserts a small tube through a blood vessel at the top of the thigh (or wrist). Moving x-rays help the IR guide the tube into the blood vessels in the liver that feed the tumor. Next, the IR injects tiny beads soaked in chemotherapy through the tube. The beads block the tumor’s blood supply. This kills the tumor over days and weeks. Giving the chemotherapy directly to the cancer allows IRs to treat the tumor(s) with high doses while protecting normal tissue. This reduces side effects from chemotherapy.
TACE IN THE LIVER
What are the treatment alternatives?
Your treatment options are based on your overall health, lifestyle and the size, location and number of tumors you have. Possible alternatives include:
What are the risks of TACE?
Major Complication Risks
Potential major complications include
Minor Complication Risks
Potential minor complications include
What happens after my TACE procedure?
When should I call my doctor or 911?
You have a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
You have uncontrollable pain or vomiting
You have sudden trouble breathing or shortness of breath
You experience new swelling or pain.
You see new skin changes like redness
You have bleeding or new swelling at the treatment site