Patients with primary and a few with secondary liver tumors were embolized through the hepatic artery. Lipiodol and doxorubicin occluded peripherally, which was immediately followed by central embolization with gelatin sponge cubes. Preoperative embolizations were made for diagnostic and possible surgical adjuvant purposes. Extensive postembolization necrosis was common in tumors less than 5 cm in diameter, and tumor markers usually decreased temporarily after treatment. There were moderate side effects of pain, fever and nausea, and an acceptable complication and mortality rate with no deaths after embolization alone. This warrants further research on the method, which also seemed to improve the detection rate for small hepatocellular carcinomas.