Spire Southampton Hospital, Hampshire’s largest private hospital became the first private hospital in the UK to perform a new ground breaking treatment for cancer of the liver. Dr Brian Stedman, Consultant Interventional Radiologist is now one of Europe’s leaders and the only operator in the UK to provide chemosaturation therapy which has shown hepatic progressive-free survival in patients with ocular melanoma where the cancer has spread to the liver (Delcath, 2010). This technique has also been trialed on other forms of metastatic disease. Since 2010 procedural refinements have been made and a second generation filter has been developed, producing an improved safety profile. This second generation filter is used as standard in all these procedures across Europe now.
Chemosaturation therapy, also known as percutaneous hepatic perfusion (PHP), allows for very high concentrations of chemotherapy to be delivered directly to the liver in isolation that can target not only visualised tumours, but even those that are non-visualised. Once the liver has been saturated in the chemotherapy, the blood is haemofiltrated to remove as much of the chemotherapy agent as possible to minimise systemic toxicity and the associated side effects that comes with conventional delivery methods of chemotherapy.
The procedure is minimally invasive without the need for surgery and is performed using X-ray guidance in an interventional catheter suite. Two balloons are inflated in the inferior vena cava (IVC) close to the entrance of the heart to isolate the liver’s blood supply via a catheter inserted into a vein in the groin. Another catheter is inserted via an artery in the groin and this is placed into the artery that supplies blood to the liver. Through this catheter the chemotherapy agent is delivered for 30 minutes targeting all the tumours within the liver. After 30 minutes the contaminated blood from the liver is drained out of the body into a specially designed filter that removes up to 98% of the chemotherapy agent before the blood is flushed back into the body. The balloons are then deflated and the catheters are removed.
The procedure lasts four to five hours and involves a large multi-disciplinary team led by Dr Stedman. Following the procedure there is a two to four day stay in hospital before discharge.
This treatment is offered to self-pay patients and is also available to some insured patients on a case per case basis. The hospital has already had success negotiating with BUPA and insurers from Ireland.
If you would like any more information on this treatment then visit our web page or contact Mandy Chris or phone 02380 914458.