Transarterial Chemoembolisation (TACE)

Transarterial Chemoembolisation is carried out by the interventional oncology service at Spire Southampton Hospital.

The interventional oncology service is lead by consultant Dr Brian Stedman. Find out more about about alternative treatments for liver cancer available at Spire Southampton Hospital on our interventional oncology service pages. For more information, or to make an appointment call the Interventional Oncology office on 023 8091 4458.

What is Transarterial Chemoembolisation?

Transarterial Chemoembolisation (TACE) is a minimally invasive procedure in which chemotherapy is given directly into the cancer in your liver, under X-ray control. At the same time the blood supply to the cancer is blocked off, which allows for a higher dose of chemotherapy drug to be used because less of the drug is able to circulate to healthy cells in the body. Cutting off the blood supply to the tumour is part of the process of causing tumour necrosis (death) of the tumour.

Who is suitable for Transarterial Chemoembolisation (TACE)?

TACE is suitable for patients whose cancer has started in the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC) along with certain tumours which have spread to the liver eg, neuroendocrine, melanoma. The liver must be functioning well in order to cope with the chemotherapy and the 'blocking-off' of the blood supply to the cancer in the liver.

The multi-disciplinary team of cancer specialists will discuss whether the TACE procedure is suitable for you. They will also consider the size of your tumour and whether the cancer has spread outside of your liver. Once it has been decided TACE is a suitable treatment for you Dr Brian Stedman will discuss the treatment with you.

About the TACE procedure

Transarterial Chemoembolisation is carried out by Dr Brian Stedman, consultant interventional oncologist, in the interventional catheter suite at Spire Southampton Hospital. You will not need a general anaesthetic for the procedure, but local anaesthesia will be used in the groin area and you will be sedated for the duration of the procedure.

A small catheter will be inserted into an artery through a small cut in the groin area. Contrast is injected into the catheter and X-rays taken to identify the blood vessels that are supplying the tumour. Once identified, smaller tubes (catheters) are threaded into the bloods vessels that are supplying the tumour and the chemotherapy (drug eluting beads) administered directly into the tumour by Dr Stedman.

The procedure takes approximately 90 minutes. Following the procedure you will return to the ward where you will stay overnight.

How to find out more

You can find out more about the TACE procedure and the common side-effects of treatment on the British Society for Interventional Radiology.

Spire Southampton Hospital offers this treatment to self-pay patients and is also available to some insured patients on a case per case basis. If you would like any more information or are interested in this treatment then contact the interventional oncology office on 023 8076 4352.

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