Several publications show that superselective conventional TransArterial ChemoEmbolization (cTACE), meaning cTACE performed selectively with a microcatheter positioned as close as possible to the tumor, improves outcomes, maximizing the anti-tumoral effect and minimizing the collateral damages of the surrounding liver parenchyma. Recent recommendations coming from the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) highlighted that TACE must be used in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) “selectively targetable” and “accessible to supraselective catheterization.” The goal of the manuscript is to better define such population and to standardize superselective cTACE (ss-cTACE) technique. An expert panel with extensive clinical-procedural experience in TACE, have come together in a virtual meeting to generate recommendations and express their consensus. Experts recommend that anytime cTACE is proposed, it should be ss-cTACE, preferably with a 1.5–2.0 Fr microcatheter. Ideally, ss-cTACE should be proposed to patients with less than five lesions and a maximum number of two segments involved, with largest tumor smaller than 5 cm. Angio Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) should be used to detect enhancing tumors, tumor feeders and guide tumor targeting. Whole tumor volume should be covered to obtain the best response. Adding peritumoral margins is encouraged but not mandatory. The treatment should involve a water-in-oil emulsion, whose quality is assessable with the “drop test.” Additional particulate embolization should be systematically performed, as per definition of cTACE procedure. Non-contrast CBCT or Multi-Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT) combined with angiography has been considered the gold standard for imaging during TACE, and should be used to assess tumor coverage during the procedure. Experts convene that superselectivity decreases incidence of adverse effects and improves tolerance. Experts recommend contrast-enhanced Computed Tomography (CT) as initial imaging on first follow-up after ss-cTACE, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) if remaining tumor viability cannot be confidently assessed on CT. If no response is obtained after two ss-cTACE sessions within six months, patient must be considered unsuitable for TACE and proposed for alternative therapy. Patients are best served by multidisciplinary decision-making, and Interventional Radiologists should take an active role in patient selection, treatment allocation, and post-procedural care.
- Conventional transarterial chemoembolization
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Iodized oil
- Selective embolization