Chemoembolization For Liver Cancer

Medicine is constantly evolving and introducing high-tech methods of treating cancer pathologies. One of them is chemoembolization.


Conventional Treatment for Liver Cancer

The classical methods of treating liver cancer include surgical removal of the primary tumor and systemic chemotherapy. However, by the time of diagnosis making, radical liver surgery is possible only in 5-15% of patients (both in primary and in metastatic lesions). Relapse and progression of metastatic lesions are observed in 60-80% of patients treated with liver resection.

The effectiveness of systemic chemotherapy for inoperable lesions does not exceed 20% with a survival rate of 3-4 months. Severe disruption in the detoxification function of the liver is connected with the high risk of systemic chemotherapy due to the possible rapid progression of liver failure.



The technique called chemoembolization is the result of achievements in a combination of vascular surgery and oncology.

Chemoembolization leads to the cessation of blood supply to the tumor and death of cancer cells, with precise delivery of the antitumor drug to tumor tissues. This allows the creation of a high local drug concentration that is not possible with traditional methods.

As a result of the chemoembolization procedure, the death of cancer cells occurs and the tumor shrinks or disappears.

How is chemoembolization performed?

The chemoembolization procedure usually takes about 1.5 hours. It is performed by an endovascular surgeon in the operating room.

A small incision is made in the upper thigh and a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery. The catheter is moved under X-ray control until it reaches the hepatic artery. A solution is injected through the catheter to assess the tumor vessels. When the tip of the catheter is in the area of the blood vessel feeding the tumor, an embolizing substance is injected along with a chemotherapy drug.

X-ray examination is performed in order to make sure that the drug is being administered correctly. After that, the catheter is removed, and a bandage is applied to the thigh.


Chemoembolization has a number of advantages over traditional methods of liver cancer treatment, including:

  • Ability to treat inoperable tumors
  • Creation of high local concentrations of anticancer drugs
  • Minimal toxic effect of anticancer drugs
  • Safety and good tolerance
  • Possibility of prolonged exposure (creating a high local concentration of an anticancer drug for a long time)

Indications for Chemoembolization

Chemoembolization can be used both in primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma) and in metastatic liver cancer. The doctor may recommend chemoembolization if the tumor cannot be removed surgically.

It should be noted that the need for chemoembolization is determined exclusively by the attending physician, based on the details of the diagnosis, individual characteristics, and the patient’s health condition, as well as the presence of possible contraindications.

How can I undergo chemoembolization during a lockdown?

Many countries have closed their borders following the lockdown regimen, due to the spread of the COVID-19. Thus, undergoing treatment abroad has become more complicated.

In case you need to undergo chemoembolization for liver cancer promptly, to continue your treatment abroad, or to make sure you get the best treatment possible, know that you can still undergo treatment abroad even if your country is in lockdown.

Booking Health can facilitate the arrangement of chemoembolization for liver cancer treatment by providing the following services:

  • Communication with the chosen hospital
  • Providing patients with up-to-date information about the cost of treatment
  • Translation of medical reports
  • Solving the issues with receiving a medical visa, even if the request for a visa has been declined
  • If due to lockdown the embassy is closed completely, Booking Health resolves the issue through the federal police
  • Medical visa extension when it is necessary to continue the treatment abroad
  • Flight and accommodation booking
  • Interpreting services

You can be free of unnecessary stress, while Booking Health takes care of all organizational issues. To specify any information about chemoembolization, leave a request on the Booking Health website, and a medical advisor will contact you shortly.



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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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