for Veterans and the Public
This is the most limited form of direct therapy currently available. With this technique, surgeons or interventional radiologists figure out exactly where a tumor is located within the liver, often with an ultrasound scan, and pass a needle into it. Through the needle, they inject a liquid containing a high concentration of alcohol. The alcohol is so concentrated that it kills whatever cells it contacts, ideally, mostly liver cancer cells.
This form of treatment is most effective in treating small liver tumors (less than 3 centimeters in size). Occasionally, more than one small tumor can be treated at the same time, which places less stress on the rest of the liver.