Removing the cancer from the liver by surgery is the first line of treatment to be considered. In addition to staging, liver cancers are defined additionally by how they can be treated:
The best long-term outcomes for patients with liver cancer are achieved when the tumor can be completely removed. When liver resection is not feasible, microwave ablation, which uses heat to destroy the cancer, is a very attractive alternative. - Boris Kuvshinoff, MD, MBA, Director, Liver and Pancreas Tumor Center
Liver cancer surgery is highly complex and should be done only by hepatobiliary surgeons with extensive experience. Roswell Park is a high-volume center for both liver and pancreas surgery, and over the last seven years, the 30-day and in-hospital mortality for both liver and pancreas resection is less than 3 percent — better than the national average for this important quality measure.
Roswell Park offers the following surgery options for liver tumors:
All Roswell Park liver cancer patients are screened to determine whether undergoing a liver transplant would be a potential treatment option. Unfortunately, the simple fact is that more than 80 percent of liver cancer patients are not candidates for this type of organ transplant. Of the select few who are candidates, only one in 10 on the liver transplant wait list receive a transplant.
We offer several neoadjuvant treatments (treatment given before surgery) such as some forms of radiation and/or chemotherapy to shrink the tumor first. Patients with advanced or borderline resectable cancers may have their tumors downsized before surgery. In addition, we offer portal vein embolization (PVE). This technique may be done in cases where the amount of healthy liver that would remain after liver surgery would be too small. PVE stimulates liver regeneration before surgery.
Neoadjuvant treatments may allow:
In addition, we offer several ablation therapies for liver cancer patients who cannot undergo surgery.