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Liver Cancer Treatment

Surgery

Removing liver cancer with two surgeries

We surgically remove cancer from the liver, even when tumors have spread to both sides of the organ. Called a staged liver resection, this sophisticated approach allows us to treat patients who may have heard their cancer is inoperable.

Our surgical oncologists at Goshen Center for Cancer Care are the only ones in the region with the training and expertise to perform two operations to remove parts of the liver affected by cancer. This advanced treatment allows time for the liver to regenerate – or grow back – healthy tissue. The healthy portion of the liver then can function properly, even after the remaining diseased portion is removed.

In some cases with large tumors present, we help the liver regrow before surgery by blocking off the tumor with radiological therapy called portal vein embolization. The procedure cuts off the blood supply to the tumor, which encourages healthy tissue growth on the other side of the liver. After sufficient liver tissue has regrown, our oncologists remove the tumor surgically.

Our cancer experts

Only at Goshen Center for Cancer Care can you find a level of expertise across cancer specialties that enables us to take on complex cases – cases no other cancer centers or hospitals in our region can treat. Here, we use aggressive approaches by surgical oncologists trained specifically in advanced procedures to save lives.

In addition, our patients benefit from our unique integrated environment. We seamlessly blend surgical options with other advanced treatments, including medical and radiation therapies, naturopathic medicine and nutrition, as well as supportive services to offer the most complete care available.

Chemotherapy

Hepatic artery infusion for liver cancer

When it comes to treating liver cancer, experts at Goshen Center for Cancer Care use the latest research and tools. To attack the disease head on, we may use hepatic artery infusion (also called intra-arterial hepatic chemotherapy), which delivers chemotherapy drugs directly into the liver’s main artery. This allows us to minimize exposure of healthy tissues to chemotherapy while maximizing the potential of cancer-fighting drugs on liver cancer.

This type of treatment for liver cancer allows for a much higher concentration of the drug – 100 to 1,000 times more concentrated than conventional administration.

As the first comprehensive cancer treatment center in northern Indiana, we offer hepatic artery infusion to provide our communities with leading-edge liver cancer treatment. You can trust our board certified, fellowship trained oncologists to deliver the care you need from diagnosis to treatment to recovery.

Getting hepatic artery infusion at Goshen Center for Cancer Care

Trained oncology surgeons implant the hepatic pump within the abdominal wall through minimally invasive surgery. The refillable pump delivers the chemotherapy precisely to the liver. For some patients, we leave the pump implanted indefinitely and provide routine maintenance at our outpatient facility.

Life after hepatic artery infusion

Hepatic artery infusion can improve chances of survival for people with primary liver cancer or cancer that has spread to the liver. After undergoing this procedure, you may enjoy a better quality of life with fewer troubling symptoms than before.

As a patient at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, you can expect a team of specialists to surround you and give you the support you need during treatment for gastrointestinal cancer. This may include naturopathic medicine to heal your well-being or supportive therapy services to help you and your family cope with the disease.

A Phone Call Away

You’re only a phone call away from compassionate cancer care – call (888) 492-4673 (HOPE) to talk schedule an appointment.

Chemoembolization

Targeting liver cancer tumors with chemoembolization

When it comes to treating liver cancer, we know that attacking the cancer with an aggressive and integrative approach is the best option. At Goshen Center for Cancer Care, we treat liver cancer with chemoembolization, which delivers cancer-killing drugs directly to the tumor. With precise treatment like chemoembolization, we treat the cancer while preserving healthy areas of your body.

As the first comprehensive cancer center in northern Indiana, we offer chemoembolization to provide complete care for liver cancer. Our team is ready to help you get started, whether you need a second opinion about your treatment or want to begin care with us. 

What is chemoembolization?

Chemoembolization is a two-part treatment that delivers and traps chemotherapy drugs in the liver. It involves injecting the drugs into the main artery that delivers blood to the liver and then plugging the artery to concentrate the treatment. Chemoembolization also works by starving the tumor of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow, which eventually causes the cancer cells to die.

Surgery is a main treatment option for liver cancer, but it’s not effective for every patient. When surgery or other treatment options aren’t the best for you, your treatment team may recommend chemoembolization.

What to expect with our integrative model of care

Chemoembolization takes place in our hospital, where you can receive all the care you need in a single location in Goshen. It begins with a specially trained oncology specialist inserting a thin catheter in your groin, which carries the potent chemotherapy drugs directly to the liver. The treatment takes about one or two hours, and many patients go home on the same day of their treatment. Your treatment team will discuss recovery, side effects and the next steps after chemoembolization.

Rest assured, we will take care of all of you during cancer treatment. You can expect an integrative approach that includes naturopathic medicine, nutrition services and other therapies to support you physically and mentally.

Y-90 Radioembolization

Y-90 radioembolization for liver cancer

Radioembolization combines radiation therapy with embolization to treat liver cancer or cancer that has spread to the liver. It involves placing a radioactive material inside the body and directly radiating the cancer cells.

The therapy gives patients a treatment option for tumors that cannot be removed by surgery. It delivers radiation directly to the precise site of the tumor and at a much higher dosage, compared to external beam radiation. The treatment’s high precision means healthy tissue nearby is spared from radiation exposure.

Radioembolization slows growth of the disease, reduces side effects and improves quality of life. In some cases, the therapy shrinks tumors to a size that can be removed surgically. The treatment can work together with chemotherapy or be used by itself.

This treatment is a form of selective internal radiation therapy, known as SIRT.

How radioembolization works

With interventional radiology, doctors use image-guided techniques to place a thin flexible tube called a catheter into the main artery that goes into the liver. They inject millions of tiny radioactive beads, called microspheres, that contain a radioactive material known as yttrium-90 or Y-90.

Microspheres lodge in blood vessels at the tumor site and deliver their radiation to cancer cells. This is called arterial embolization.

The beads attach to the tumor and slowly release radiation, like a time-released pain pill. This internal radiation approach delivers 40 times more radiation to tumors than conventional therapy. It also destroys blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients the tumor needs to grow.

Radioactive material travels only a short distance, which limits damage to healthy tissue in the rest of the liver. Most of the radiation wears off in 10 to 14 days. Although the beads stay in the body, they no longer give off radiation after about 30 days.

A team approach to radioembolization

Specialists called interventional radiologists perform radioembolizations at Goshen Hospital. They are highly trained in image-guided procedures to treat diseases, including cancer and heart and vascular conditions.

Our interventional radiologists use imaging tools, such as CT, ultrasound and MRI, to perform these minimally invasive procedures. The treatment reduces risk, causes less pain and shortens recovery times, compared to open surgery.

We're here to help

Radioembolization and selective internal radiation therapies offer options for patients with inoperable liver cancer and other types of cancers. Ask your oncologist about the right treatment for you.

We also offer minimally invasive interventional radiology services for patients with cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal conditions and urologic problems.

Talk with your primary care provider about embolization therapies for other medical conditions. 

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