Transarterial Chemotherapy 


The liver is isolated and infused with either immunotherapy drugs or chemotherapy drugs. The side effects are less than with systemic treatments. Interventional radiology doctors typically perform these procedures. Although doctors all around the country perform chemoembolization, often different chemotherapy drugs are used depending on the team performing the procedure. At this point, no particular chemotherapy has been shown, in research trials, to be more beneficial than another.

Hepatic Arterial Chemoinfusion (HAI)

Infusion of chemotherapy into the liver through a specialized infusion system in which a catheter is placed into the hepatic artery to directly and continuously deliver the chemotherapy to the liver. Before this procedure, patients must have a surgery to isolate the liver’s blood supply so the infused chemotherapy does not leak out of the liver. This direct infusion allows for fewer side effects of chemotherapy and allows high doses to be delivered.

Isolated Hepatic Perfusion (IHP)

In IHP, a catheter is placed into the hepatic artery and another is placed into the vein that takes blood away from the liver. This temporarily separates the liver’s blood supply from blood circulating through the rest of the body and allows high doses of chemotherapy to be directed only to the liver. When this is done percutaneously, or through the skin, it is referred to as Percutaneous Hepatic Perfusion (PHP). This procedure is currently only available on clinical trials.

PHP involves isolating the liver and "bathing" the liver in a particular chemotherapeutic agent. A clinical trial is being done by NIH's NCI (National Cancer Institute) and you can receive this treatment at several locations around the country. The liver is isolated and infused with the chemo drug Melphalan.
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