February 5, 2012

New treatment for liver cancer patients

Private hospital news : 5 February 2012

BMI The Alexandra Hospital is the first hospital in the North West to provide a new, non-surgical treatment for liver cancer.

The DEBIRI (Drug-Eluting Beads delivering Irinotecan) treatment is for patients suffering from both primary, where the disease originated in the liver or secondary liver cancer - where it travelled to the liver from another organ such as the bowel or breast.

The DEBIRI treatment is minimally invasive and treats patients who have inoperable tumours by shrinking them and making surgery possible.

The procedure involves inserting a catheter – a thin plastic tube - into an artery which supplies blood to the tumour. The tumour is then injected with fluid containing microscopic chemotherapy beads, which directly attack the cancer.

At the same time, the beads obstruct the tumour’s blood supply, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients which prohibit its growth. By injecting chemotherapy directly into the liver, many of the side effects can be decreased or avoided.

The DEBIRI treatment is carried out by a multi-disciplinary team at BMI The Alexandra Hospital, lead by Consultant Medical Oncologist Dr Greg Wilson, and Consultant Interventional Radiologist Dr Finn Farquharson.