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British Liver Trust
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Can someone please share your experience on TACE treatment for Liver Cancer?

I have been diagnosed with inoperable Primary Liver Cancer HCC and offered targetted Chemo embolisation (TACE) at Hammersmith hospital. Can someone share their experience of TACE, please? jimhughes1234@btinternet.com

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Hi Ayisha

I had two experiences of TACE while waiting for a transplant in 2011 and both occasions were generally unproblematic. Both involved two days in hospital (the procedure on day 1 and follow-up observation on day 2). The procedure itself involves inserting some medication close to the site of the tumour via an artery in the groin. This is painless and takes about an hour, if I recall correctly. The second time took longer because the tumour had shrunk and the radiologist could not find it.

Hope this helps.

Mike

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Mike, it is very kind of you to share experience. I am 65, diabetic, bp, what is the life expectancy after TACE, if you know, please. What were the after effects of TACE? Because my wife suffered after general chemo for breast cancer, nausea, etc., my family does not want to go for it. Was your life normal after TACE? BEST WISHES WTH YOUR TRANSPLANT.

jimhughes@btinternet.com

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Hi Jim/Ayisha?

Can't answer the life expectancy question - something you need to put to your consultant as soon as you can. I don't think I was untypical in my reaction to TACE: I was kept in after the routine for observation and in both cases was advised that there may be an (unspecified) reaction. Perhaps I was fortunate in not having any adverse consequences and I was discharged on Day 2.

The fact that the first TACE reduced the size of my tumour was a good indication that it can work in delaying the impact of the cancer on the liver. I hope it has this impact for you.

Best wishes

Mike

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Hi Mike,

You mentioned that you were on the transplant list in 2011, would you mind sharing alittle bit about your experience with the transplant list before and after TACE? I don't have anyone else to ask and the doctor can't make any promises. Here's my story:

I have criorsiss of the liver, HepB, and now a 2 cm tumor. Me dr. Told me that I will be doing TACE procedure soon. current MELD score is 13, without the added points for the cancer just yet. I was told by my dr. that referrals or transplant list eligibility doesn't come into play until my MELD is at 30. I am in my early 30s (age) and newly wed. My wife and would like to be as and prepared and as realistic as possible in the outcome and chances of an actual transplant happening. If you or anyone would be kind enough to share any thoughts or experiences with me I would be very thankful. Please do not hold back on honesty even if it's not ideal advice... I need to know the good and the bad. Thank you.

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Hi

I was put on the transplant list in June 2011 and had two TACE treatments, one before that and one after. The procedure itself is pretty straightforward - you are awake but can't see or feel anything. I was conscious of the clinician manipulating the device used for inserting the chemical via the groin but nothing beyond that. I was told that there may be a reaction which meant I had to stay in over night for observations but I was perfectly well on both occasions.

The second TACE was in September and on this occasion, the clinician could not find the tumour. It was still there but had shrunk. Again, I was out the following day.

I tell part of my story in this link: bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f4423 and other aspects of it in a post entitled "Making a new start" on this site." I hope you find them helpful but don't hesitate to ask more questions.

Best wishes

Mike

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Thank you Mike.. That has been Very helpful. Just for clarification, you have been on the transplant list since 2011 and still have not received a transplant? What's your MELD score? I have found this forum extremely helpful as I have no where or no one else that can relate to this or my questions. Thank you for your responses and wishes to you as well!

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I had a transplant in Dec 2011. Not sure what my MELD score was - I think Leeds used UKELD score to supplement - not entirely sure of the significance of either of these.

As to questions, this forum can be very helpful but it covers a lot of conditions and very different experiences. The most useful source of information should be your GP and any specialists you have been referred to. Write your questions down and take someone with you to help you remember the answers!

Mike

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Mike,

Do you know if the TACE procedure makes a person sterile? I don't have children yet, but would like to in the near future. I will ask my physician at my next appointment, but thought to ask you in the meantime. Thank you for your time.

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This was never mentioned to me as an issue and I can't think why it should be the case but I honestly don't know. Mike

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My son is 16 and 5 weeks post transplant but was due to have TACE before luckily receiving his new liver in time. He was told that the chances of the TACE affecting his fertility were slim but he was offered the option to bank just in case.

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Hi Danisleigh,

Thank you for that info. I actually forgot about this forum and saw a notification in my email that something new has been posted to my thread. Wow I wrote this 4 yrs ago and here I am still not on the transplant list and my wife & I, still no children. May I ask what state you are from? I was so close to being on the transplant list, but during my last evaluation 3 yrs ago, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma as well i so could not be considered for transplantation. Fast forward to the present, I am seeing specialists now and if all goes well, I may be on the list (hopefully) this year. One of my specialists mentioned that in some states the wait time is significantly faster then CA (where I am) & I'm curious to know if this is true.

If you are willing to share anything about your family's experiences about your sons transplantation, I am eager to hear! Thank you for sharing.

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Wow, I didn’t notice this was a 4 year old post! Sorry to hear you are still waiting to get on the transplant list but I am afraid we are in the U.K. so cannot really help you with waiting times. My son had a false alarm at 16 days then another call at 18 days, he was very lucky.

My son was born with Alagille syndrome but then diagnosed with a suspected HCC in January this year. As the lesion was already quite large they were concerned it might become too large for him to be transplanted if the wait was long so although they don’t offer TACE to children the QE agreed to treat him as he is on the verge of adulthood. He was referred to oncology which is where they explained the procedure to us and also told my son about the fertility aspect which they said was unlikely as the treatment wasn’t being put into the bloodstream but they couldn’t guarantee. They arranged that the TACE would happen in about 3 weeks but luckily the next week my son had the two calls and he had his transplant meaning he avoided the TACE which we were obviously happy about. The transplant went very smoothly, he received a right lobe and he has had no issues so far although he did require more surgery as they managed to get a cannula stuck in his artery in his arm and he had to have his artery repaired! He still came home after 10 days though.

I hope that you can get on the list this year and that a transplant gives you a new lease of life.

On another note my son is desperate to visit California and we have promised him a road trip in 2 years time!

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Hi Mike,

thank you

Can you advise which clinic you attended for the TACE treatment. We live in Australia and are trying to obtain a level of comfort with a clinic and or Doctor.

cheers

Lyn

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Hi Ayisha,

What country are you in, we are in Australia and have been advised to travel to Germany for TACE treatment of Liver Tumours.

Have you heard of Dr. Fogl?

Lyn

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Hi My Husband has Hcc, he has 3 tumours, he has recently had Tace Treatment, to shrink tumours then possibly a Transplant. Can anyone tell me if Tace does work, and how long survival after Tace.

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Hi

Like mike said they go up through an artery in your groin, when they inject the beads it slows down the growth of the tumour by starving it of blood & oxygen but it's not a cure.

There is no time on it, it just slows growth down & it differs from one person to another.

I currently have 3 tumours , had tace & abilation & on the transplant list since beginning of January.

Best of luck with your treatment

Huw

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Thank you Huw. My husband came out of hospital 15 days after 1st Tace treatment, it caused hypertension in the right side of his heart& lung, on oxygen for 10 days. His recovery is very slow, loss of appetite, lost 2 stone in weight in under 3 weeks, not being able to sleep. Been bk to see consultant today he said he will feel like this for a few weeks. Whilst in hospital there was talk that he may not be able to have Tace treatment again it would be too risky with what happened this time. He is due for a scan the end of August to see if Tace have had any affect on the tumours. Will have to wait till then. Huw how many times have you had Tace & has it worked? Do hope you get yor Transplant soon.

Tracy.x

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Hi Kelly,

After the scan was the TACE effective? Did the tumor shrink? How is he doing now?

Hoping for your early response.

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Hi, unfortunately the Tace didn't work for my husband. He passed away February this year. He lasted 6 months after Tace! 😢

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Hi what stage was he in when he was given the tace? And where did you do your do your treatment? Did he have any other health problems? Was he given a second tace treatment? If you could explain in details would be really helpfull as my father is suffering from liver cancer.

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I had my first tumour treated using RFA. I now have a second tumour but this appears inaccessible on CT and MRI scans. I am having TACE to deliver chemo and also to add marker dye to the tumour followed by a further CT scan to show one way or the other if RFA is out of the question. Thus it appears they can use the arterial delivery method used in TACE for other purposes.

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