Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is the first-line treatment in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In recent years, there has been increasing clinical evidence that drug-eluting beads provide a combined ischemic and cytotoxic effect that may be superior to conventional TACE, with low systemic toxicity. The therapeutic value of TACE performed using the embolic microsphere DC Bead loaded with doxorubicin (drug-eluting bead doxorubicin [DEBDOX]) has been shown by several randomized controlled trials. Since Lencioni et al. [Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 2012; 35: 980-985] published the first widely accepted technical recommendations on HCC embolization with DEBDOX-TACE in 2012, new studies have contributed to a better understanding of when and how to apply this new therapeutic modality, and they have yet to be incorporated into an updated guideline. Additionally, differences in the underlying liver pathology and practice of transcatheter embolization between Asian and Western populations have not been adequately addressed, and there remain significant variations in the TACE protocols adopted in different parts of the world. These mainly revolve around the number and type of chemotherapeutic agents used, type of embolic material, reliance on Lipiodol, and selectivity of catheter positioning. As a result of these issues, it has been difficult to interpret and compare results obtained from different centers in a systematic fashion. To address these concerns, we convened a panel of experts specializing in different aspects of HCC treatment to craft an updated set of recommendations that better reflect recent clinical experiences and are tailored to the use of DEBDOX-TACE in Taiwan. The conclusions of this expert panel are described in the following article.
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