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Liver Cancer 

For patients with liver cancer, the Baylor Liver and Pancreas Disease Center offers a broad array of treatment options, including resection, transplant and all available ablative therapies. At Baylor, a team dedicated to the management of liver tumors determines each patient's treatment.

Of all the approaches, surgical resection remains the preferred treatment when possible. The advanced expertise of the surgeons on the medical staff of Baylor means many cases can be done using laparoscopic techniques.

When a patient's tumor is inoperable, ablative therapies include:

Irreversible Electroporation (IRE), through the NanoKnife IRE System, is a promising new treatment modality for inoperable liver tumors, especially those difficult to treat positions.  IRE uses electrode probes that are inserted into the tumor, which then administer multiple short electrical pulses. The result is irreversible damage to tumor cells while critical and often delicate nearby structures, such as ducts and blood vessels, remain viable.

Chemoembolization: In this procedure, chemotherapy is injected into a tumor through the artery that supplies the tumor's blood flow. Physicians on the medical staff at Baylor use microscopic beads, coated with chemotherapeutic agents, to deliver a local killing dose to the tumor without systemic side effects. The chemobeads may shrink the tumor to a size that allows the patient to undergo liver transplant. In some cases, the beads may actually treat the cancer.

CyberKnife: For qualified patients, this outpatient therapy can eradicate hard to reach or inoperable liver tumors with robotically directed, high-dose, precisely targeted beams of radiation. The targeted radiation treatment is possible due to a computerized respiratory tracking program that correlates the rise and fall of the chest with the actual location of the tumor.

Radiofrequency Ablation: For non-resectable patients, radiofrequency ablation may be an option to treat primary or metastatic liver cancer. During this innovative therapy, radiofrequency current is passed through a needle electrode into the tumor, heating the surrounding area and essentially "cooking" the tumor.

Yttrium-90 Therapy: This advanced technology is offered to qualified patients with primary or secondary liver cancer. The physician accesses the blood vessels supplying the tumor and then uses a syringe to deliver millions of tiny glass beads loaded with radioactive yttrium-90 directly to the tumor, effectively blocking the tumor's blood supply. Yttrium-90 therapy is a potentially less toxic treatment option compared to traditional radiation.