Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is the current standard of therapy for patients with intermediatestage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer classification. The concept of conventional TACE (cTACE) is the selective obstruction of tumor-feeding artery by injection of chemotherapeutic agents, leading to ischemic necrosis of the target tumor via cytotoxic and ischemic effects. Drugeluting beads (DEBs) have been imposed as novel drugdelivering agents for TACE, which allows for higher concentrations of drugs within the target tumor and lower systemic concentrations compared with cTACE. Despite the theoretical advantages of DEB-TACE, it is still controversial in clinical practice as to whether DEBTACE is superior to cTACE in regard to overall survival and treatment response. In this review article, we summarize the clinical efficacy and safety of DEB-TACE for patients with intermediate or advanced stage HCC in comparison with cTACE.
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