Liver metastases

The liver is a common location for metastatic growths of various cancer forms, mainly transported through blood circulation. Hepatic metastases may originate from cancer of the large bowel, the lungs, the kidneys, the breast, the pancreas, the stomach or the ovaries or from melanomas, sarcomas, neuroendocrine tumours, soft tissue tumours, etc.

Surgical treatment is notalways possible, while most times systemic chemotherapy does not have the desired response.  In many of these cases there is indication for performing transarterial chemoembolisation so as to treat secondary liver metastases; this state-of-the-art method has had very encouraging results.

Dr Ioannis Dedes is an expert in transarterial chemoembolisation for hepatic metastases; he administers chemotherapeutic agents that are well tolerated by patients. Hospitalisation is usually for one day and patients go home the following day.  The final outcome depends on many factors, such as the type of the primary tumour, the number and size of metastases, the tumour location, the patient’s general health, the potential for repeated chemoembolisation, etc.

In some cases, when the number and size of metastases allow it, another therapeutic approach with better results is selected, namely that of percutaneous ablation of the lesion; this is a relatively new but promising method.

This technique entails the percutaneous insertion of a fine needle, under the guidance of axial tomography; radiofrequencies (RF ablation) or microwaves (MW ablation) are applied through the needle onto the metastatic focus, so that controlled destruction is caused by high heat (coagulative necrosis).