ProHealth Care’s liver cancer program is a joint effort with UW Health. The program’s multidisciplinary teams consist of experienced radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, research staff, counseling support, dietitians and social workers. Team members meet weekly to discuss patients’ cases and develop individualized plans. ProHealth Care offers a range of state-of-the-art treatments options for the management of liver cancer. Options may include surgery, liver directed therapy, targeted agents, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
We offer on-site and coordinated access to all contemporary diagnostic testing, including computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. A liver biopsy usually is done to diagnose the cancer.
Chemotherapy: The use of drug therapy to kill cancer cells. It may be administered before surgery, after surgery, in conjunction with radiation therapy or as a single treatment.
Tumor ablation: This includes radiofrequency ablation or microwave ablation to allow for elimination of liver tumors. “Ablation” means to remove or destroy.
- With radiofrequency ablation, a needle device is directed through the skin and into the target lesion, using CT or MRI imaging, ultrasound or fluoroscopy. When the needle is in the lesion, a controlled electrical current that heats the needle tip is applied, thereby destroying the adjacent target tissues. This procedure sometimes is referred to as RFA.
- Microwave ablation is a procedure in which a tumor is localized using image guidance and then either a single antenna or several microwave antennae are inserted through the skin into the tumor. The antennae destroy the tumors by directing a blast of microwave energy that generates intense heat. This sometimes is referred to as MWA.
SIRT: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy is a targeted treatment for liver tumors that delivers millions of tiny radioactive beads directly to the liver tumors via the blood supply. It also is known as intra-arterial Y-90 TheraSpheres.
Chemoembolization: In this treatment, chemotherapy particles are administered directly to the liver through arteries that supply the liver tumor. This is performed by navigating a catheter through the blood stream into the blood vessels in the liver, thereby directly delivering chemotherapy to the tumors.
It also is referred to as TACE, which stands for transarterial chemoembolization.
Hepatectomy: This surgery removes all or part of the liver, ranging from one segment to up to six segments. Some small tumors often can be eliminated by removing less than one segment of the liver (called a wedge resection), with the goal of completely removing the liver tumor.
Liver transplant: Transplantation removes the patient’s diseased liver and replaces it with a healthy donated liver.