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Regional Perfusion Therapy for Treating Late-stage and Advanced Cancers

People with early-stage cancers have the best outcomes since doctors can successfully treat them sooner.

Doctors may use one or more of the following treatments for early-stage cancers:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Standard chemotherapy

Unfortunately, many people don't find out they have cancer until it's too advanced. At this point, common surgery may not be an option and standard chemo may not be as effective.

For these late-stage cancers, doctors may use advanced surgical techniques or regional perfusion therapy.

Unlike standard chemo, which flows throughout the entire body, regional perfusion therapies:

  • Deliver medicine to a precise part of your body.
  • Bathe the area in high doses of chemo drugs.
  • Kill the cancer cells while lessening damage to healthy tissue throughout the rest of your body.

This therapy has fewer side effects than traditional treatments. It may be able to extend and improve the quality of your life.

Types of Late-Stage and Advanced Cancers We Treat With Regional Perfusion Therapy

Many types of advanced cancers respond well to regional perfusion therapy:

  • Liver cancers.
  • Sarcomas (cancers in bone, cartilage, or soft tissues like muscle, or connective tissue).
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (tumors that grow from hormone-producing cells).
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma (cancer in the lining of the abdomen).
  • Peritoneal metastases (cancer that has spread to the lining of the abdomen from other organs).
  • Pleural cavity tumors (cancers in the space between the lungs and chest wall).
  • Melanoma (skin cancer that has spread to another part of the body).
  • Metastases (cancers that have spread beyond their point of origin).

Types of Regional Perfusion Therapy Cancer Treatments

There are many types of regional perfusion therapies. The best one for you depends on the type and location of your cancer.

  • Hepatic arterial infusion (HAI). The liver receives chemo through a surgically placed pump.
  • Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC). Surgeons remove all visible tumors that have spread to the lining of the abdomen. They then insert two tubes into the abdomen — one delivers warmed chemo drugs, while the other removes and reheats the liquid. The warmed chemo solution circulates for about 90 minutes while it kills any remaining unseen cancer cells.
  • Hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy (HITHOC). Much like HIPEC, but the heated chemo circulates throughout your chest.
  • Isolated hepatic perfusion (IHP). This treats metastatic cancers that have spread to the liver. Surgeons separate the blood supply of the liver from the rest of your circulatory system. Then they disperse chemo solution through the liver for about an hour.
  • Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE). Surgeons block off the tumor's blood supply and release a very high dose of chemo to the cancer at the same time.
  • Yttrium-90 internal radiation. Surgeons send tiny radioactive beads directly into liver cancers through one of the arteries in your liver that feeds the tumor.

Why Choose UPMC for Regional Perfusion?

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides the highest level of care to more than 110,000 people around the world each year, and:

  • Our surgeons can treat your cancer using the latest, least invasive techniques. And our results are often better than other leading cancer centers.
  • Our team has nearly 20 years of experience with regional perfusion therapies.
  • We lead clinical trials on rare, aggressive cancers that often don't respond to other treatments.
  • We team up with other experts to tailor treatments to your unique needs and goals.

Make an Appointment Today

To learn more about the treatments we offer, contact the David C. Koch Regional Perfusion Cancer Therapy Center.

Or call UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at 412-692-2852.