Liver vascular procedures

Vascular oncology is a term used to describe treating tumours via their own blood supply. By targeting the blood supply treatment can be applied directly to the tumour which, not only concentrates therapy but reduces the harm to the rest of the body. 



  • This is carried out by inserting a small tube into the blood vessels within the groin or wrist. The tube is then passed up to the organ that contains the tumour, where particles, metal coils or gel may be delivered directly.
  • Embolisation may be used to reduce the growth of tumours or even shrink tumours providing symptomatic relief and potential surgical option. Embolisation may also be used to provide symptomatic relief for hormone secreting tumours.
  • Embolisation can also be used to provide symptomatic relief to stop bleeding that may either start spontaneously or after surgery.


Embolisation with chemotherapy (DEB-TACE)

  • Drug-eluting bead transarterial chemoembolization (DEB-TACE) combines the technique of blocking off blood vessels with the delivery of high concentrations of chemotherapy to the target tumours. The tiny particles used to block the tumour blood vessels are soaked in chemotherapy before treatment; once they are lodged in the tumour blood vessels they are able to release the chemotherapy directly.
  • This is a novel technique recently introduced for the treatment of cancer that has spread to the liver and cannot be dealt with by surgery or direct ablation. Clinical trials have proven DEB-TACE to be more effective than chemotherapy given via a vein in patients who have already had standard chemotherapy for this kind of cancer.
  • This technique not only delivers concentrated chemotherapy to the target but reduces the systemic effect chemotherapy can have when given through a vein.


Embolisation with radiation therapy (Radio-embolisation or SIRT)

  • Particles used for embolisation (see above) may be pre-treated with yttrium-90 – a source of very localised radiation.
  • This is known as Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT). This is approved for the treatment of liver tumours that cannot be removed by surgery. These may be cancers that start in the liver (primary liver cancer), or they may be tumours that have spread to the liver from another part of the body (secondary liver cancer or metastases). SIRT provides a very localised delivery of radiation to the tumour which, reduces the dose delivered to the rest of the body.
  • It is a two stage procedure, usually 1 to 3 weeks apart. The 1st stage involves an angiogram and embolisation to ensure that any blood vessels that are not directly feeding the tumour are blocked off. During the 2nd stage, the treatment is delivered using tiny resin or glass beads – less than the width of a human hair – containing a radioactive element (Yttrium-90 (Y90) to treat the liver tumours directly. The microspheres tend to lodge in the small vessels within the tumour and deliver their dose of radiation for a period of approximately two weeks.


Why choose to have a liver vascular procedure with Christie Oncology Imaging?

Christie Oncology Imaging has extensive experience in liver vascular procedures and our consultants have a strong reputation as leaders in the field of oncology intervention. Many of our consultants are world renowned experts in different areas of oncology imaging and have published and lectured extensively. We pride ourselves on achieving the highest possible standards in imaging, with the attention to detail and expertise required to do the very best for our patients.


How do I pay for my liver vascular procedure?

We welcome both insured and self-pay patients