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Cancer blog: New Treatment Extends Liver Cancer Survival

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Nov 30, 2005

New Treatment Extends Liver Cancer Survival

New Treatment Extends Liver Cancer Survival
Precisely targeting the radiation beam specifically at the liver tumor and delivering 400 times the usual amount of chemotherapy directly to the tumor may hold the key to survival in patients with liver tumors. Researchers have recently shown that this strategy helps to extend the lives of liver cancer patients.

The treatment is highly effective because the radiation beam specifically targets the tumor avoiding the normal parts of the liver. This allows the researchers to deliver up to 400 times the commonly used dose of radiation to the tumor. This research is being conducted at University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

The new regimen improved median survival to nearly 16 months for the 128 patients who received the treatment, compared to a normal survival time of eight to nine months, the study authors report in the new issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

While surgery is the most effective way to treat liver tumors, these tumors often grow in a way that prevents surgical removal. That leaves few treatment options. Traditionally, radiation wasn't effective against liver cancer because the liver is too sensitive to receive radiation. That's why the U-M researchers designed a treatment that focuses radiation directly on the tumor.

Patients in the study received radiation twice a day for two weeks, along with a continuous infusion of the chemotherapy drug floxuridine that was delivered through a catheter into an artery that directly feeds the liver. The patients then had a two-week respite before they repeated the radiation/chemotherapy treatment for another two weeks.

Less than a third of the patients in this study experienced severe treatment-related complications, the Michigan team said. The most common of these severe problems were upper gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding, liver disease from the radiation, and problems with the catheter.

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Do you read all of the blogs published by Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

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Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer. publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.


Cancer is a very common disease, approximately one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during the course of their life. Cancer is more common in the elderly and 77 percent of cancers occur in people above age 55 or older. Cancer is also common in children. Cancer incidence is said to have two peaks once during early childhood and then during late years in life. No age period is completely exempted from development of cancers. Some cancers occur predominantly in the elderly, other types occur in children, Cancer occurs in all ethnic races, however the cancer rates and rates of specific cancer types may vary from group to group. Late stages of cancer may be incurable in most cases, but with the advancement of medicine, more and more cancers are becoming curable.

Cancer blog: New Treatment Extends Liver Cancer Survival

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