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Chemosaturation therapy

Chemosaturation percutaneous hepatic perfusion (CS-PHP)

Direct delivery of anti-cancer drugs to the liver while its blood supply is sealed off minimises systemic side effects.

About chemosaturation therapy

Chemosaturation therapy treats liver cancer. The liver is temporarily sealed from the body's blood circulation, allowing targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs at more concentrated doses than systemic chemotherapy. By 'saturating' the whole liver, both visible and undetected tumours can be targeted.

 

 

What is chemosaturation therapy?

Find out more about chemosaturation therapy and how it differs from traditional chemotherapies.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    A catheter with tiny balloons is inserted into the inferior vena cava (IVC) near the entrance of the heart via a vein in the groin. The balloons are inflated to isolate the liver's blood supply.

    Another catheter is inserted via an artery in the groin and placed in the artery that supplies blood to the liver. The chemotherapy agent is delivered via this catheter for 30 minutes, targeting all tumours in the liver.

    The contaminated blood from the liver is drained from the body, into a filter that removes up to 98% of the chemotherapy agent before returning the blood to the body.

    The procedure lasts 3‒5 hours and is done under general anaesthetic.

     

     

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Eligibility for chemosaturation therapy must be decided by your consultant on a case-by-case basis and will depend on factors such as:
    • your overall health
    • stage and grade of the cancer
    • how healthy the liver is, including the parts without cancer
    • the location of the veins and arteries to the tumours
    • what treatments you’ve had, including surgery


    Your consultant may also request scans and blood tests that would help determine that you're healthy enough to undergo the procedure.

    You'll go into the hospital the day before the procedure. Please bring all your medications with you. You may also be given medicines to help prepare you for the procedure.

     
  • Afterwards icon plus

    The balloons around your liver and catheters in your groin will be removed and you'll be moved to a recovery room. You may feel tired and have an upset stomach but this shouldn't last long. Any pain can be managed with pain relieving medication. Typically the procedure requires an in-patient stay of 2-4 nights.
    After you're discharged, you'd still be monitored for side effects. You may have:
    • blood tests for up to 3 weeks post-procedure
    • new drugs to help with your recovery
    • scans after 6-8 weeks to monitor how your tumour has responded to the procedure

    Your consultant will also talk to you about returning to your normal activities, including work.

Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Chemosat FAQs

  • Can I try Chemosat therapy first before other treatments? icon plus

    Each persons treatment map is different, this maybe the first treatment you are offered, or in some cases you may already be receiving treatment. Your consultant will talk you through the choices that are most suitable for you, in some circumstances we can suggest treating you in a combination of ways.
  • Is chemosaturation a one off treatment? icon plus

    Chemosaturation therapy can be repeated and on average a person will receive 2-3 treatments at bi-monthly intervals. Each person's treatment is unique so any treatment schedules are tailored to each individual.
  • What sort of cancer does chemosaturation treat? icon plus

    Chemosaturation therapy can treat cancer that has started in the liver, known as primary liver cancer, as well as cancer that has started in another part of your body and has now spread to the liver, which is called secondary or metastatic liver cancer.
  • Is chemosaturation therapy suitable for me? icon plus

    Chemosaturation therapy is suitable for patients with primary liver cancer and secondary/metastatic liver cancer. Whether we can give you chemosaturation therapy depends on a number of things. These include: 1. The stage and grade of the cancer 2. Your overall health 3. How much cancer you have and whether it’s mainly in the liver 4. How healthy the liver is, including the parts that don’t have cancer 5. The location of the veins and arteries to the tumours 6. What treatment you’ve already had, including surgery
  • What does chemosaturation therapy do? icon plus

    The therapy treatment has shown to help slow or reverse the growth of tumours from certain cancers in the liver, however it is not a cure.
  • Is chemosaturation therapy painful? icon plus

    No. A general anaesthetic is given during the treatment. When you wake up, you might have some catheters in, which can be a bit uncomfortable, if it is, we will give you some medication to ease the discomfort.
  • How long does chemosaturation therapy take? icon plus

    The treatment usually takes about three to five hours and you’ will stay with us for up to 4 days.
  • How is chemosaturation therapy different? icon plus

    Chemosaturation therapy is a procedure where we can give a high dose of an anti-cancer drug directly to the liver, which can help destroy the cancer. As the drug saturates the liver, it targets not only tumours we can see, but those too small to show up in a scan. And because we isolate the liver during treatment, which stops most of the drug from spreading to other parts of the body, you might not have as many side effects as you would with traditional chemotherapy.
  • Will I feel sick or lose my hair? icon plus

    Because we stop most of the anti-cancer drug from spreading to other parts of your body, you might not have as many side effects as you would with traditional chemotherapy. Most people only report minor fatigue after the procedure, but are soon back to their normal routines. Many people don’t lose their hair, but everyone’s different. Your consultant will talk you through what to expect, should you be a suitable candidate for chemosaturation therapy.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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