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Transarterial Chemo Embolization-Does it work?

Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi Everyone,

My dad has liver mets (7 tumors). Resection couldn't be done because of cirrhosis. He is supposed to have The TACE procedure done on Tuesday. Does it work? Is it worth it. He heard it is quite painful and he might be in the hospital for a period of time.

Any thought would be appreciated.


Pennymac02's picture
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

My husband had 2 bland embolizations,(The kind without chemo or rads). The first one kept the tumor from growing, he had very little side effects, and moderate pain, it involved a 3 day hospitalization. The second actually killed the cancer, but he did not recover so well from that one. They had to be more aggressive to shrink the tumor so he could be elligible for a transplant. Unfortunately, his liver did not handle it well. The process damaged the healthy portions of the liver. So the procedure worked, but the side effects have been significant. He is currently hospitalized in liver failure, BUT he IS elligible for the transplant. Weigh these options carefully.

Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2010

I've never heard of the bland embolization. This is all new to me. Sorry your dad isn't doing well, but hopefully will receive a liver. I was wondering about a liver transplant and why doctors haven't said anything about it. Maybe it doesn't always work well or it depends on how healthy a person is. It is so hard to know what to do. We've heard the chemo embolizaton is painful, but didn't get to go with him to the doctor to ask lots of questions. I'll have to do more research.

Thanks and good luck with everything.


Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2011

In June 2010 I was diagnosed with stage IV cholangiocarcinoma with liver and spinal mets. I have been undergoing a gemzar/cisplatin chemo regimen since the first week of July 2010 and have had two chemoembolizations using adriamycin, mitomycin, and cisplatin. The first CE was performed on December 14th and was successful enough in shrinking the largest of my multiple lesions to warrant my IR team at USC Norris Cancer Hospital to do a second one on February 25th this year. I will not have my results until the first week of April, which I am hoping again are successful enough to warrant more CEs. My procedures lasted three hours, after which I spent six hours in recovery. I was able to return home the same day. My symptoms were minimal, only experiencing pain and fever that lasted for 2 - 3 days and fatigue that lasted for about two weeks. I am in relatively good health and tolerate my traditional chemo well. As the mother of two young boys, I will do whatever it takes and fight this thing tooth and nail. I have every intention of being a long-term survivor. There are risks involved, but they are worth it given my situation. I wish you and your father the best! Please keep us posted about your decision and his progress.

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