Mercy Health Hospitals Offer Advanced Treatments, including Chemoembolization and Y90, for Patients with Liver Cancer

(CINCINNATI; June 28, 2016) – Mercy Health - Cincinnati, which provides advanced, compassionate, quality care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that Mercy Health hospitals offer advanced radiology treatments for patients with liver tumors.

Chemoembolization is an interventional procedure for patients with metastatic or primary liver tumors who are not surgical candidates due to either the size or location of their tumor. Already available at The Jewish Hospital, the procedure is now also available at Mercy Health – Fairfield and West Hospitals. Mercy Health intends to expand the service to Anderson and Clermont hospitals.

A board-certified physician trained as an interventional radiologist inserts a catheter into the artery or arteries supplying the tumor, administering chemotherapy beads directly to the tumor. This decreases blood supply to the tumor and the beads slowly release the chemotherapy to the tumor over time. Chemoembolization has fewer side effects than systemic chemotherapy, in which anti-cancer drugs travel to all parts of the body.

“The goal is to stop progression of disease, extend survival time and shrink the tumor so that the patient may potentially be down staged and become a surgical candidate,” said Lisa Obert, MD, an interventional radiologist who practices from Fairfield Hospital. “Chemoembolization is typically an outpatient procedure. Some patients may need repeat treatments, which we can perform.”

In addition to chemoembolization, The Jewish Hospital offers radioembolization, also known as SIRT (selective internal radiation therapy). This cutting-edge, minimally-invasive procedure delivers Y90 radiation particles directly into liver tumors and is one of the only types of radiation therapy targeting cancer cells and not the surrounding normal tissue. Originally approved by the FDA for metastatic colon cancer, interventional radiologists now use radioembolization to treat a wide variety of cancers involving the liver.

“Radioembolization achieves similar results to chemoembolization for patients with diffuse liver cancer and also has the ability to achieve results almost identical to surgical removal of a small part of the liver for those patients who have isolated tumors,” said James Traiforos, MD, an interventional radiologist who practices from The Jewish Hospital. “Y90 treatment can increase the length of time that their cancer is stable and not growing without adversely affecting the patient's quality of life. This is a technique which the major cancer centers around the country are using with great success.”

Fairfield Hospital also offers radioembolization and the procedure will be available at West Hospital later this year.

Mercy Health has invested in the latest technology to offer expanded interventional oncology treatments throughout Greater Cincinnati for patients with liver tumors, including intra-arterial chemotherapy, intra-arterial Y-90 radiation therapy and ablation. The American Cancer Society notes that the incidence of liver cancer in the United States has more than tripled since 1980.