Intraarterial Liver-Directed Therapies: The Role of Interventional Oncology

Ochsner J. 2017 Winter;17(4):412-416.


Background: Since the early 1990s, the minimally invasive image-guided therapies used in interventional oncology to treat hepatocellular carcinoma have continued to evolve. Additionally, the range of applications has been expanded to the treatment of hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer, neuroendocrine tumors, cholangiocarcinoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and sarcoma.

Methods: We searched the literature to identify publications from 1990 to the present on various image-guided intraarterial therapies and their efficacy, as well as their role in the management of primary and secondary liver malignancies.

Results: Chemoembolization and radioembolization are considered a standard of care in treating, delaying progression of disease, and downstaging to bridge to liver transplantation. Progression-free survival and overall survival outcomes are promising in patients with colorectal cancer and neuroendocrine tumors with liver metastases. Applications in the treatment of hepatic metastases from cholangiocarcinoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and sarcoma also show potential.

Conclusion: Interventional oncology and its image-guided intraarterial therapies continue to gain recognition as treatment options for primary and secondary liver cancers. Growing evidence supports their role as a standard of care alongside medical oncology, surgery, and radiation oncology.

Keywords: Chemoembolization–therapeutic; gastrointestinal neoplasms; neoplasm metastasis; radiology–interventional; yttrium radioisotopes.

Publication types

  • Review