Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Penn Researchers Find Chemoembolization Effective For Liver Tumors

Date:
March 26, 1999
Source:
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Summary:
More than 150,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year, and, for half of these patients, the disease spreads to the liver. A Phase-II study performed by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center has found that a minimally invasive technique known as chemoembolization may double the survival time of adult patients with colon cancer that has spread to the liver.

Chemotherapy Delivered Directly to Liver Tumors Doubles Life Expectancy

Related Articles


(Philadelphia, PA) -- More than 150,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year, and, for half of these patients, the disease spreads to the liver. A Phase-II study performed by a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center has found that a minimally invasive technique known as chemoembolization may double the survival time of adult patients with colon cancer that has spread to the liver. Michael C. Soulen, MD, associate professor of radiology at Penn and senior author of the study, will present these findings at the 24th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular & Interventional Radiology (SCVIR) on Wednesday, March 24, in Orlando, Florida.

Systemic chemotherapy delivers cancer-killing medication into the bloodstream where it travels throughout the body and eventually reaches the tumor. In contrast, chemoembolization works by delivering chemotherapy directly to cancerous cells with the use of a non-surgical, interventional catheterization technique. This technique also involves the infusion of tiny particles that cut off the blood supply to the tumor, thus inhibiting cancer-cell growth. Colon cancer that has metastasized, or spread, can be managed with chemoembolization when systemic chemotherapy has failed. "Chemoembolization hones in on the cancerous cells that have spread to the liver and avoids exposing the rest of the body to chemotherapy's toxic effects," explains Dr. Soulen. "This technique is not a cure, but it can extend patients' lives and preserve their quality of life."

In this study, 51 patients whose colon cancer had metastasized to the liver were treated with chemoembolization. Eighty-six percent (86%), or 44 of the patients, survived one year after treatment. The patients in this study survived an average of two years. Typically, less than half of liver cancer patients survive one year after undergoing systemic chemotherapy.

Chemoembolization is performed while the patient is under conscious sedation, and is administered by an interventional radiologist. The procedure involves making a small needle puncture in the patient's groin and inserting a catheter, or tiny tube, into the liver's hepatic artery. Using a moving X-Ray, the arteries to the liver are identified and three chemotherapy drugs are delivered directly to the hepatic artery leading to the tumor -- thus sparing healthier liver tissue. The hepatic artery is then blocked off, or embolized, with a mixture of oil and tiny particles. This technique deprives the tumor of fortifying oxygen and nutrients, while saturating the tumor with high doses of medication. Chemoembolization is effective without damaging the liver because the hepatic artery is central to the tumor's survival, however it provides only twenty-five percent (25%) of the liver's blood supply. The liver is unique in that it has two blood supplies -- a hepatic artery as well as a large portal vein that furnishes ample blood flow on its own.

The chemoembolization procedure is approximately three hours in length, and involves an overnight hospital stay. It is performed repeatedly on a monthly basis, with an average treatment regimen of approximately three sessions.

"With chemoembolization we can offer a less taxing and effective treatment for liver cancer," said Dr. Soulen. "Although not curative, it can extend and preserve a more normal life for the patient by minimizing the cancer and its effects."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Penn Researchers Find Chemoembolization Effective For Liver Tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990326062102.htm>.
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. (1999, March 26). Penn Researchers Find Chemoembolization Effective For Liver Tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990326062102.htm
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "Penn Researchers Find Chemoembolization Effective For Liver Tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990326062102.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins