2 Indications and current treatments

2 Indications and current treatments

2.1 The most common types of primary liver cancer are hepatocellular carcinoma (also known as hepatoma) and cholangiocarcinoma. However, liver cancer occurs more often as a result of metastases from sites such as the lung, colon, stomach, and eye (particularly ocular melanoma).

2.2 Treatment for primary or metastatic liver cancer depends on the location and stage of the cancer and how well liver function is preserved. Treatment options include surgical resection, thermal ablation, systemic chemotherapy, transarterial chemoembolisation, and selective internal radiation therapy. Liver transplantation may be appropriate for some patients. In patients with primary liver cancer, surgical removal with curative intent may be possible. For most patients with liver metastases, treatment with curative intent is not possible.

2.3 Regional hepatic arterial delivery of high-dose chemotherapy with isolated hepatic perfusion used to be done using open surgical techniques, which carried a risk of significant morbidity and mortality. It is now done percutaneously: this means that the procedure is less invasive and it can also be repeated.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)