Innovative treatment of liver cancer at the Klinikum Landshut
Liver cancer remains unrecognized in many patients for a long time, often the tumor is only discovered at an advanced stage. For a larger infestation there is a new treatment method at Klinikum Landshut: millions of radioactive micro-beads flow directly into the liver. The first patients have already been successfully treated.
In the first four patients, the procedure went smoothly. This was reported by Prof. MD Matthias Dollinger, Chief Physician of the Medical Clinic I and liver specialist at the Klinikum Landshut on Tuesday to the media. The four patients were treated with selective internal radiotherapy, SIRT for short. "SIRT is intended for patients in whom the liver tumor can not be surgically removed," explains Prof. Dollinger. These can be either primary liver cancer or metastases. "This is a medical quantum leap for Landshut," says Managing Director MD Philipp Ostwald. Selective internal radiotherapy is only available at hepatology centers at university hospitals.
The goal of the therapy: to reduce the liver tumor as much as possible. "We want to increase the quality of life of our patients and extend their life expectancy," says Prof. Dollinger. The procedure gives similarly good results as a chemotherapy, but does without their side effects and is thus more gentle, so Dollinger. "Ideally, chemotherapy is unnecessary or we can delay it."
The process involves introducing millions of radioactive beads directly into the liver tumor. The procedure takes about 90 minutes under local anesthesia - six experts of the hospital care for the patient, i.a. a radiologist, a nuclear medicine specialist and a gastroenterologist. Through a small puncture, a catheter is passed through the artery to the liver - through this small, flexible tube the radioactive beads flow into the tumor. The microspheres are small enough to pass through the hepatic arteries but too large for the blood vessels in the tumor where they stick. The substances develop their effect exclusively in the liver, where they selectively irradiate the malignant cells and finally reduce them. Several clinical studies have shown that selective internal radiotherapy can greatly reduce liver tumors. Some tumors shrink to the point where they can eventually be surgically removed.
Patients need not be afraid of radiation. The radioactive microspheres have a very short range of a few millimeters. "The healthy tissue is loaded as little as possible," explains MD Bernhard Scher, chief physician of nuclear medicine at the hospital. Normally, patients will be discharged home one to two days after the procedure. The treatment team monitors progress. Required for the new range of therapies SIRT was also a state-of-the-art angiography facility.
About one to two weeks before the actual treatment begins, the patient must go through some preliminary examinations. A so-called mapping prepares the liver for the radioactive microspheres. Using angiography, a radiologist obliterates the vessels in the organ, so that the microspheres only do their work in diseased tissue and do not get outside the liver. "In this test phase, the patient is also given the first globules," says Prof. Dollinger. Only then is it clear whether the patient can be treated with SIRT. In addition, the liver should be exclusively or mainly ill. At the same time, the organ must be reasonably healthy and work satisfactorily.
Cirrhosis End Stage: Cell Therapy Makes Hope
Alcohol, fat food, stress, medication: at some point too much for the organ. Good chances of recovery for the cirrhosis end stage now promises a cell therapy. Read more about the procedure here.
Cirrhosis is the late stage of chronic liver disease. The prognosis in end-stage cirrhosis of the liver has been very poor so far. Hope tests to patients in the Hospital Lindau and in the hospital Homburg / Saar give reason for hope. There, in two-thirds of patients, liver values stabilized due to the novel treatment developed in Germany. In the process, healthy cells are recovered from the diseased liver. These liver cells are then treated in the laboratory, applied to special carrier material and then reinserted into the body in a second OP.
The new cells take on the carrier liver functions such as the detoxification of the body and the production of protein albumin (it transports fatty acids, vitamins and blood clotting factors).
In more than 50 patients with end-stage cirrhosis of the liver, the procedure (term: HeparAutoCell therapy) has been used so far. And for 20 patients, long-term experience of more than two years is available. The patients feel well after the therapy and in many cases after a few weeks, they are also able to perform well again.
Typical symptoms such as water in the stomach, tiredness and blood clotting disorders improved significantly. The clinical results show that the method improves liver function in patients with end-stage cirrhosis and prolongs their life expectancy.