A variety of therapies, all intended to achieve a similar end result, exist in this category. They include:

  • Bland embolization,
  • Chemoembolization, and
  • Radioembolization.

Each type of embolization uses a specific technique to block or reduce the flow of blood through the hepatic artery to the liver. The hepatic artery is the main blood vessel that transports blood to the liver, so blocking it prevents the cancer cells from getting nutrients that they require to grow. These techniques are also used to deliver chemotherapy or radiation directly to the tumour site, and are often preferred for patients with liver metastases who are not candidates for liver surgery.


Hepatic arterial embolization involves injection into the hepatic artery. In this procedure, a thin and flexible tube called a catheter is put into an artery through a small cut in the inner thigh. A dye is usually injected into the bloodstream at this time to help the doctor monitor the path of the catheter.