Liver Cancer Treated with Chemoembolization at Mercy Medical Center

Medical Oncology at Mercy - Baltimore

Chemoembolization is one of the many innovative treatments options offered at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Mercy’s medical oncologists are experts dedicated to providing patients with the best treatment options for cancer. 

What is Chemoembolization?

Chemoembolization is a minimally invasive, image-guided treatment that delivers a high dose of chemotherapy directly into the tumor, while minimizing exposure to healthy tissues. This technique is mainly used to treat liver cancer and can be used for treatment of cancers that have metastasized to the liver. Chemoembolization typically requires a short hospital stay.

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How is a Chemoembolization performed?

An interventional radiologist performs chemoemobilzation by inserting a small catheter into the groin and the blood vessels supplying blood to the liver tumor. Chemotherapy drugs are then delivered directly to the tumor allowing other areas of the liver and other parts of the body to be spared from the chemotherapy drugs. This technique has been shown to slow or stop tumor growth, and in some cases can even result in significant shrinkage of the tumor.

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Who should receive Chemoembolization?

Before a patient can be considered for chemoembolization, a medical evaluation is performed. The evaluation will include several tests to make sure there are no blockages of the portal vein or bile ducts:

  • Liver function blood tests
  • CT scan
  • MRI
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What types of tumors can be treated with Chemoembolization?

Chemoembolization is not a curative treatment. It is only effective for treating primary liver tumors also known as hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoma. It can also be used to treat cancers that have spread or metastasized to the liver such as colon cancer, carcinoid, ocular melanoma and sarcomas