Saturating Cancerous Livers with Chemotherapy may be Beneficial and could Limit Toxic Side Effects
News Jan 17, 2011
Minimally invasive chemosaturation delivers high doses of chemotherapy into the liver to more effectively battle tumors while limiting toxicity to the rest of the body.
“The minimally invasive method isolates the drug so it is contained within the liver, where tumors receive up to 100 times the dose they would get through systemic chemotherapy”. Patients with melanoma that had spread to the liver who underwent percutaneous hepatic perfusion (PHP) survived four times longer before the disease progressed, compared to patients who did not receive the treatment, according to results of the multicenter randomized study.
The study included 93 patients: 44 received PHP and 49 received standard treatment (typically systemic chemotherapy). In the latter group, 27 began receiving PHP when their disease progressed. Patients in the PHP group averaged 186 days before the disease progressed compared to 46 days for patients who did not receive PHP. Those in the PHP group benefitted from an average of 245 days without progression of cancer in the liver compared to 49 days for those in the standard treatment group, a five-fold increase for the PHP group.
“The minimally invasive method isolates the drug so it is contained within the liver, where tumors receive up to 100 times the dose they would get through systemic chemotherapy,” said investigator Charles Nutting, DO, FSIR, an interventional radiologist at Swedish Medical Center, Denver, Co. “There are very limited therapeutic options for these patients. This minimally invasive therapy technology could eventually be used to treat other liver cancers when options are limited.”
PHP involves delivering chemotherapy via an arterial catheter threaded through the blood vessels to the liver. Two balloons are inflated in the vena cava, above and below the liver to isolate the chemotherapy. This chemotherapy-saturated blood is then cleansed by a series of filters and returned to the body. PHP allows the entire liver to be treated, which is beneficial in patients with more than one tumor.
University of Texas at Dallas scientists have demonstrated that the growth rate of the majority of lung cancer cells relates directly to the availability of a crucial oxygen-metabolizing molecule. Researchers have engineered and extensively characterized new molecules aimed at starving the cancer cells of the molecule that allows them to proliferate so quickly.