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Conditions We Treat With Regional Perfusion Therapy

Doctors use regional perfusion therapy to treat some cancers that:

  • Are too advanced to remove with surgery
  • No longer responds to standard chemotherapy
  • Are confined to one area of the body

Doctors at the David C. Koch Regional Perfusion Cancer Therapy Center use this technique to extend and improve the quality of your life.

Cancers We Treat with Regional Perfusion Therapy

We treat many advanced cancers with regional perfusion therapy.

Early-stage liver cancer is best treated with surgery. However, when liver cancer becomes advanced, surgery is often no longer an option. In these cases, isolated hepatic perfusion (IHP) may be a good treatment option.

The liver can tolerate high doses of chemo. It also has a unique blood supply, making it easier for doctors to isolate the drugs in the cancer site. These qualities make advanced liver cancers good candidates for regional perfusion therapy.

Metastases are cancers that start in one part of the body and spread to other parts of the body. They're sometimes called secondary cancers.

If a secondary cancer stays confined to a single organ or region of the body, regional perfusion therapy may be an option.

Some of these cancers include:

  • Adenomucinosis: cancer of the lining of the appendix.
  • Colorectal cancer: cancer of the intestine that forms in the colon or rectum.
  • Mesothelioma: cancer of the lining of the abdomen or chest cavities.
  • Peritoneal sarcomatosis: cancerous growths in the tissues of the peritoneal cavity.
  • Pleural cavity tumors: tumors in the space between the lungs and chest wall.
  • Primary serous adenocarcinoma of the peritoneum: tumors in the ovaries or uterus.
  • Pseudomyxoma peritoneii: mucus-secreting cancer cells that have spread to the peritoneal cavity.

Possible treatments for these cancers include:

Cancers that form or spread to the lining of the abdomen are hard to treat with conventional chemo, making them good candidates for regional perfusion therapy:

  • Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that forms in the lining of the abdominal cavity. Doctors use HIPEC to circulate drugs throughout the cavity. Surgeons remove the tumor before perfusion therapy.
  • Peritoneal metastases spread to the abdominal cavity from the appendix, colon, or ovaries. HIPEC is a good treatment option for these cancers once they have been removed.

Tumors sometimes form in the space between the lungs and chest wall:

  • Pleural cavity tumors grow along the membrane covering the lungs. These cancers spread from elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs, breasts, ovaries, pancreas, or colon.
  • Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs. It is aggressive and hard to treat. Risk factors include age and exposure to asbestos.

Hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy can be a good treatment for these cancers.

Sometimes skin cancer spreads through the bloodstream to another area of the body. If it remains in one organ, doctors refer to it as a regionally confined melanoma.

If the melanoma is in the liver, doctors will treat it with IHP.

Tumors are sometimes too large for doctors to remove without causing damage to other organs:

  • Neuroendocrine tumors: cancer from cells that release hormones.
  • Sarcomas: cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or connective tissue.

For these late-stage cancers, regional perfusion therapy may be a treatment option.

Treatment depends on the type and location of your cancer.

Doctors may use:

Contact Us About Perfusion Therapy for Cancer

To learn more about cancer treatments, contact the David C. Koch Regional Perfusion Cancer Therapy Center or call UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at 412-692-2852.