What is intra-arterial chemotherapy?
Intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) delivers chemotherapy drugs directly to a tumor, while minimizing exposure to healthy tissues. This delivery method minimizes side effects, like nausea and vomiting, and maximizes the cancer-killing properties of the drugs.
How it works
During IAC, a thin catheter is threaded through the femoral artery in the right leg. Using image guidance, chemotherapy is injected directly into the hepatic artery, which is the main blood vessel that delivers blood to the liver.
IAC allows high doses of chemotherapy drugs to be targeted directly to the cancerous tissue for a longer period of time, without exposing the entire body to the effect of the drugs.
This method of chemotherapy is primarily used for the treatment of liver cancer, but may also be used for the treatment of cancers that have spread to the liver.
IAC for liver cancer
With IAC, the tumor in the liver receives the drug, and the liver breaks down most of the drug before it can reach the rest of the body. As a result, IAC may cause fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy treatment.