If the tumor has spread to the liver, the patient may be offered hepatic artery embolization (HAE). In this procedure, a catheter is placed in the groin, and then threaded up to the hepatic artery that supplies blood to the tumors in the liver.
Tiny particles called embospheres (or microspheres) are injected through the catheter into the artery. These particles swell and block the blood supply to the tumor, which can cause the tumor to shrink or even die.
This treatment can also be combined with systemic treatments in some patients with liver metastases and metastasis outside of the liver. It is a procedure that would be done by a specialist called an interventional radiologist. The patient would be sedated for the treatment.
Sometimes this embolization process is combined with chemotherapy (called HACE (Hepatic Artery Chemoembolization) or TACE (Transcatheter Arterial Chemoembolization) or radiotherapy (RMT or SIRT).