Chemoembolization and Radioembolization in the Treatment of Primary Liver Cancers

  • Khairuddin Memon
  • Ahsun Riaz
  • Robert J. Lewandowski
  • Riad Salem
Reference work entry


The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma is increasing worldwide. Chemoembolization and radioembolization represent two novel transarterial therapies which are primarily based on a similar basic concept of the direct delivery of toxic material to the tumor via the hepatic artery and its branches. This concept exploits the fact that normal hepatic parenchyma derives its blood supply primarily from portal vein, whereas hepatic tumors are hypervascular relying primarily on hepatic arterial blood. Chemoembolization involves the delivery of a combination of chemotherapeutic drugs directly to the vessel feeding the tumor. Another variety of this technique involves drug-eluting beads which are microspheres loaded with the chemotherapeutic drug. Radioembolization involves the delivery of micron-sized radioactive particles to the tumor. While both therapies seem similar upfront, there are distinct differences in the indications, patient selection, technique, patient monitoring, and complications. These therapies have led to an encouraging response in terms of tumor necrosis, progression-free and overall survival, quality of life, and incidence of complications; they are therefore gaining wide acceptance for treating appropriately selected patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.


Orthotopic Liver Transplantation Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma Milan Criterion Locoregional Therapy Conventional Tace 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khairuddin Memon
    • 1
  • Ahsun Riaz
    • 2
  • Robert J. Lewandowski
    • 2
  • Riad Salem
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyNorthwestern Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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