Treatment of colon cancer with embolization or chemoembolization (program ID: 689347)

University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf

location_on Hamburg, Germany
9.2/10 from 92 Votes
Specialized hospital
Gerhard Adam

Head Physician
Prof. Dr. med.

Gerhard Adam

Specialized in: diagnostic and interventional radiology

Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology

Program includes:

  • Initial presentation in the hospital
  • Clinical history taking
  • Review of available medical records
  • Physical examination
  • Laboratory tests:
    • Complete blood count
    • General urine analysis
    • Biochemical analysis of blood
    • Tumor markers
    • Inflammation indicators (CRP, ESR)
    • Coagulogram
  • Ultrasound​ scan
  • CT scan / MRI
  • Preoperative care
  • Embolization or chemoembolization, 2 procedures
  • Symptomatic treatment
  • Cost of essential medicines
  • Nursing services
  • Elaboration of further recommendations

How program is carried out

During the first visit, the doctor will conduct a clinical examination and go through the results of the available diagnostic tests. After that, you will undergo the necessary additional examination, such as the assessment of liver and kidney function, ultrasound scan, CT scan and MRI. This will allow the doctor to determine which vessels are feeding the tumor and its metastases, as well as determine how well you will tolerate the procedure.

Chemoembolization begins with local anesthesia and catheterization of the femoral artery. The thin catheter is inserted through a few centimeters long incision of the blood vessel. The doctor gradually moves the catheter to the vessel feeding the primary tumor or its metastases. The procedure is carried out under visual control, an angiographic device is used for this. The vascular bed and the position of the catheter in it are displayed on the screen of the angiograph.

When the catheter reaches a suspected artery, a contrast agent is injected through it. Due to the introduction of the contrast agent, the doctor clearly sees the smallest vessels of the tumor and the surrounding healthy tissues on the screen of the angiograph. After that, he injects emboli into the tumor vessels through the same catheter.

Emboli are the spirals or the liquid microspheres. The type of embolus is selected individually, taking into account the diameter of the target vessel. When carrying out chemoembolization, a solution of a chemotherapy drug is additionally injected into the tumor vessel. Due to the subsequent closure of the vessel lumen with an embolus, the chemotherapy drug influences the tumor for a long time. In addition, the drug does not enter the systemic circulation, which allows doctors to use high doses of chemotherapeutic agents without the development of serious side effects. Chemoembolization leads to the destruction of the tumor or slowing down its progression.

After that, the catheter is removed from the artery. The doctor puts a vascular suture on the femoral artery and closes it with a sterile dressing. During chemoembolization, you will be awake. General anesthesia is not used, which significantly reduces the risks of the procedure and allows performing it on an outpatient basis, avoiding long hospital stay.

After the first procedure, you will stay under the supervision of an interventional oncologist and general practitioner. If necessary, you will receive symptomatic treatment. As a rule, a second chemoembolization procedure is performed in 3-5 days after the first one in order to consolidate the therapeutic effect. After that, you will receive recommendations for further follow-up and treatment.

Required documents

  • Medical records
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), MRI/CT scan (not older than 3 months)
  • Biopsy results (if available)
Type of program :
Expected duration of the program:

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About the department

The Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf offers the full range of modern radiological studies and imaging-guided therapeutic procedures. Patient care is provided both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The experienced medical team of the department uses only state-of-the-art equipment with fully digital imaging, monitoring and archiving. The doctors work in close cooperation with all departments of the hospital, in particular, with the Department of Traumatology, General and Abdominal Surgery, Hematology and Oncology, Heart Center. The department is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Gerhard Adam.

The service range of the department includes:

  • Diagnostic options
    • Computed tomography (also contrast-enhanced)
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (also contrast-enhanced) for examining soft tissues, joints, internal organs, imaging of the heart, prostate, breast, etc.
    • Mammography (X-ray examination of the mammary glands)
    • Projection X-ray (for example, to detect pneumonia, bone fractures)
    • Imaging diagnostics of the heart: CT scan, cardiac MRI, stress MRI (within the specialized interdisciplinary center)
    • Other diagnostic services
  • Therapeutic options
    • Percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty for the treatment of renal artery stenosis. This method is a minimally invasive procedure for renal artery dilatation.
    • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting (TIPS), which is a minimally invasive and effective treatment for portal hypertension.
    • Other therapeutic services

Curriculum vitae

  • 04.1993 Habilitation, RWTU Aachen (Supervisor: Prof. Rolf Günther).
  • 05.1985 Doctoral dissertation, University of Cologne (Supervisor: Prof. Klaus Saternus), summa cum laude.
  • 10.1977 - 10.1984 Study of Medicine in Gent (Belgium) and Cologne.

Professional Career

  • Since 2000, Professor (C4) in Radiology, University of Hamburg.
  • 07.1998 Appointed as a Visiting Professor in Radiology, RWTU Aachen.
  • 05.1993 - 06.1998 PD, Fellow, Senior Fellow, RWTU Aachen.
  • 10.1986 - 05.1993 Fellow, RWTU Aachen.
  • 01.1985 - 09.1986 Assistant Physician, Evangelical Clinic Cologne-Weiertal.

Editorial and Scientific Activities

  • 2005 - 2009 Managing Editor, Fortschritte Röntgenstrahlen.
  • 2009 and today Editor of Fortschritte Röntgenstrahlen.
  • 2007 - 2011 Editorial Board of Orthopäde und Unfallchirurgie.
  • 2000 - 2005 Editorial Board of European Radiology.
  • Editorial Board of Der Onkologe.
  • 375 Scientific works with an expert assessment (, as of 1.11. 2015, 16 chapters in books, 2 books, one scientific video work.

Other Scientific Focuses

  • 2008 - 2012 TOMCAT Project, Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
  • Since 2009, Member of the German Research Foundation, Center for Joint Research 841.
  • 2009 - 2015 Scientific Member of the Equipment Committee, German Research Foundation.
  • 2009 - 2013 Member of the Landesexzellenzinitiative Hamburg Initiative Project: Nanotechnology in Medicine.
  • Since 2011, Member of the Hamburg Academy of Sciences.
  • Since 2012, Professional Board of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, German Research Foundation.


  • 1999 Marie Curie Award (Marie Curie Ring) of the German Society of Radiology.
  • 2009 Honorary Member of the Austrian Society of Radiology.

Scientific Managing Positions

  • 2006 Chairman of the North German Society of Radiology.
  • 2005 - 2007 Deputy Dean for Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hamburg.
  • 2007 - 2011 Member of the Board of Trustees of the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf.
  • 2009 - 2011 President of the German Society of Radiology.
  • 2015 President of the 96th German Congress on Radiology.

Photo of the doctor: (c) Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) 

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