Liver cancer treatment that ‘bathes’ organ in chemotherapy is effective in 90pc of patients

Dr Brian Stedman, a consultant interventional radiologist, said his team had performed 300 procedures on 100 patients who had developed liver cancer after it spread from their eye.

In a study published in the journal Melanoma Research, the team found that liver cancers were controlled in 88.9 per cent of patients who had received chemosaturation therapy, with 62 per cent surviving for a year and 30 per cent for more than two years.

A spokesman for PLANETS, the charity that funded the research, said the average length of survival in those studied was 15 months and that in some cases the treatment almost completely eradicated the cancer.

Dr Stedman, the co-founder of PLANETS, said: “When we first trialled this treatment on two patients in 2012, I said that the development would be a landmark moment in cancer care and it really has proved to be given these results.

“This treatment allows us to cut off an organ from the body for 60 minutes, soak it in a high dose of drug and then filter the blood almost completely clean before returning it, and its arrival was much needed.”

He added that the study showed the method is safe and that patients feel back to normal in just a few days while also avoiding some traditional chemotherapy side-effects.

Neil Pearce, the study co-author, a consultant hepatobiliary surgeon and the co-founder of PLANETS, said: “While we currently only have evidence for this treatment in liver cancer which has spread from the eye, these results may now open the door for future studies with other difficulty to treat cancers affecting the liver, and we are exploring the potential new research trials.

“There has also been some limited research and case reports in other cancers – including bowel, breast, pancreatic and neuroendocrine – from international centers which suggest potential benefit but would need to be more formally assessed in large clinical trials.

“But these findings show there is real potential for this treatment to extend to more common cancers, which is very exciting.”

Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research on Monday published promising results that could help future patients fight lung cancer and potentially other forms of the disease.

An artificial intelligence technique analyzes tumor samples and is able to suggest drug combinations that may be useful for a particular patient. Suggestions from the technology can be produced in less than two days and, in lab tests, 128 of 252 drug combinations showed some degree of synergy.

“The test has the potential to guide doctors in their judgments on which treatments are most likely to benefit individual cancer patients,” said Udai Banerji, a professor of molecular cancer pharmacology at the ICR and the study leader.

“It is an important step to move forward from our current focus on using genetic mutations to predict response.”


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