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Gate Tower Institute for Image Guided Therapy

Conditions Treated
Liver Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer. Bone metastases is also treated. Excluded are: Cancers of the Brain, Spinal Cord, Intestines, and Blood.

Treatment Methods (Endovascular Intervention of Cancer)

In most cases, palliative therapy is performed with analgesics to control pain in subsequent recurrence and metastasis after the standard treatment for cancer (surgical treatment, anticancer drug treatment, and radiation treatment) has been given to the patient. However, with this therapy it is difficult to prolong a patient’s life.

In endovascular intervention (intravascular surgery), a thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the artery or vein to provide treatment from within the blood vessels. Arterial chemoembolization for cancer is one such treatment. A microcatheter, 1 mm in diameter, is inserted at the site of the tumor while performing angiography. After an infusion of anticancer agents is locally injected, the artery, the tumor’s nutrient source, is blocked with an embolic agent to stop the supply of blood. By using anticancer drugs and starvation tactics, we aim to prevent tumor growth or to induce a tumor-dormant state, and ultimately achieve a reduction in the number of cancer cells. By doing so, this treatment allows us to maintain the QOL (quality of life) of the patient and to prolong his/her life.

In contrast to standard cancer treatment, this therapy is less physically stressful for the patient and is more effective with almost no side effects, since a smaller amount of standard anticancer drugs (as little as 1/10) is locally injected. Although chances of a complete cure from cancer are low, the patient can greatly benefit from a QOL perspective, because by establishing a tumor-dormant state, pain is reduced, functional deterioration of organs is suppressed, and a relief of symptoms from recurrence and metastasis is achieved.

Furthermore, life prolongation can be expected. However, the disadvantage is that treatment cannot be completed at one time, but must be repeated over a number of times depending on the tumor size and location. In addition, the CT angiography system required for the treatment is costly, and there are only a few facilities worldwide that can provide therapy using this device.

Arterial chemoembolization for liver cancer was developed in Japan, where there is a high incidence of liver cancer caused by viral hepatitis. Hepatic arterial chemoembolization has been performed in 40% of liver cancer cases in Japan, and treatment results, such as the 5-year survival rate and other categories, rank highest in the world. With regards to terminal liver cancer, 60% of cases have shown improvement, and patients can be expected to live longer. Also, in bone metastasis, extreme pain can be relieved by embolizing newly-formed vessels of a tumor that exerts pressure on the bone.

Features of Our Hospital

Gate Tower Institute for Image Guided Therapy was founded by Dr. Shinichi Hori in 2002 as a specialty institute for endovascular intervention. We provide cancer treatment with precision and accuracy, specializing in arterial chemoembolization. We perform more than 1,200 arterial chemoembolizations at our institute every year, and we pride ourselves on our ranking as one of the hospitals to have performed the highest number of surgeries in Japan. Over the last 8 years, 7,000 cases of arterial chemoembolization, mainly for liver cancer, have been performed, and treatment results are outstanding, as evident in the 1-year survival rate of 76%, especially for liver cancer.

Treatment Results (January–December 2011)

Transcatheter Arterial Embolization (TAE)
Hepatocellular Carcinoma 232 cases
Metastatic Liver Cancer* 432 cases
Other Malignant Tumors 395 cases
Angiodysplasia 7 cases

Breakdown of Metastatic Liver Cancer (2011)

Colorectal (Large Intestinal) Cancer 32%
Breast Cancer 20%
Pancreatic Cancer 9%
Lung Cancer 5%
Gastric Cancer 7%
Bile Duct Cancer 2%
Others 25%

At our new facility, which opened in October 2011, we provide evidence-based cancer treatment for efficacy such as thermal therapy, immune therapy, and outpatient chemotherapy. We plan to promote new treatment methods that go beyond the limit of conventional cancer treatment by combining arterial chemoembolization with other cancer treatments and by increasing the number or frequency of arterial chemoembolizations. The new institute will also set up a section dedicated to the admittance of international patients.

Dr. Hori has participated in the development of these three devices: (1) Japan’ s cutting-edge microcatheter, which has become popular around the world; (2) the SAP-Microsphere, which enables us to treat cancer effectively by releasing the absorbed anticancer drug slowly at a cancer lesion; and (3) peripheral devices for angiography, which are indispensable for endovascular intervention. His major contributions demonstrate that he is an international leading authority in transcatheter arterial chemoembolization.

A Message to International Patients from Dr. Shinichi Hori, Director of Our Hospital

Our mission is to improve the QOL of patients while aiming for better treatment results by utilizing arterial chemoembolization for cancer treatment. We wish for patients suffering from recurrence and metastasis to be able to enjoy their lives while receiving this less stressful arterial chemoembolization treatment. Our institute is located close to Kansai international Airport so that international patients can have easy access to our institute. We have already accepted patients from other countries, such as France, Taiwan, and Belgium, in addition to our patients from all over Japan. In order for our international patients to feel comfortable receiving our treatment, we are creating a comfortable environment while constantly gaining experience.


Dr. Shinichi Hori
Dr. Shinichi Hori

Dr. Shinichi Hori is Director of the Gate Tower Institute for Image Guided Therapy.
He is the leading authority in the field of radiation diagnosis and endovascular intervention, and has participated in the development of many medical devices and materials related to endovascular intervention.
He joined lzumisano Hospital at Rinku General Medical Center as Head of the Radiology Department and later established the Gate Tower Institute for Image Guided Therapy in 2002. He is a medical specialist for the Japan Radiological Society.
He also serves as a medical specialist as well as a director for the Japanese Society of Interventional Radiology and a director for the Japanese Society of Endovascular Intervention.

  • Seki A, et al. Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization with epirubicin-loaded superabsorbent polymer microspheres for 135 hepatocellular carcinoma patients: single-center experience. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2011; 34: 557-65.
  • Maeda N, et al. In vitro characterization of cisplatin-loaded superabsorbent polymer microspheres designed for chemoembolization. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2010; 21: 877-81.
  • Osuga K, et al. Bland embolization of hepatocellular carcinoma using superabsorbent polymer microspheres. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2008; 31: 1108-16.

Overview of the Treatment Schedule (Model Case: Liver Cancer/Recurrent Breast Cancer)

It is crucial to have the latest medical records (CT or MRI images taken within two weeks, hematological findings, and treatment history) as well as a proper follow-up after returning to your home country. A letter of referral from the primary physician in your home country is therefore recommended. We are able to also train and teach physicians on treatment methods, as there has already been a case where the primary physician accompanied the patient to Japan. Treatment can start as soon as the patient is admitted.

International outpatients can go to the adjacent medical institution, where communication in English, Chinese, and Portuguese is possible. Accommodation facility plans for families of the patient are currently being discussed.

Overview of Treatment Schedule


External View of Our Hospital Angiography System Microcatheter Embolic Material
Panoramic View of Our Clinic Angiography System
The lesion can be accurately diagnosed and treated using an IVR-CT apparatus, which is a combination of CT and angiography.
A microcatheter is inserted into the guiding catheter to selectively deliver anticancer agents to a lesion and to perform embolization.
Embolic Material
SAP-Microsphere was developed by Dr. Hori and is used worldwide for endovascular intervention. It has been approved in 50 ountries.
Hospital Contact Information
Email: inquiry@igtc.jp
Established 2002
Clinical Departments
Endovascular Intervention and Diagnostic Imaging
Payment Methods
Credit Card (JCB, VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club, DC)
Rinku Gate Tower Building 11F, 1 Rinku Orai Kita, lzumisano-shi. Osaka 598-0048


From Kansai International Airport, take a JR or Nankai Railway train and get off at Rinku-Town Station. Approximately 1 hour from Osaka city center on JR or Nankai lines
10 minutes
from Kansai International Airport by car