Colorectal Cancer Chemoembolization
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Much like intra-arterial chemotherapy, chemoembolization is another innovative form of metastatic colorectal treatment offered at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) for cancer that has spread (metastasized) from the colon or rectum to the liver. Chemoembolization is typically used to treat inoperable liver tumors.
For this treatment, your CTCA radiologist first performs an angiogram to get detailed, internal pictures of your arterial system (i.e., blood vessels). He or she then uses these images (CT scans or X-rays) to help guide a thin catheter through the femoral artery on your right leg up to the aorta. The catheter is then directed into the artery that supplies blood to the liver—the hepatic artery.
Once the catheter is in place in the hepatic artery, the metastatic colorectal cancer treatment can begin. During this process, a highly concentrated dose of chemotherapy drugs is administered. It passes through the catheter, directly to the cancerous portion of the liver. Tiny beads called microspheres (that have been mixed with anticancer drugs) trap the chemotherapy in and around the tumor. The microspheres also cut off the supply of blood to the tumor. Ultimately, chemoembolization starves the tumor, preventing it from receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow.
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