Aa
A
A
A
Close
Hepatitis C Community
13.3k Members
Avatar universal

Of intrest to liver paitents

News > 2009 > May > Worldwide Success In Treatment Of Liver Tumours - Pioneering Technique Uses Microwaves
Worldwide Success In Treatment Of Liver Tumours - Pioneering Technique Uses Microwaves
Last updated: 15 May 2009

14 May 2009 - A Leicester consultant surgeon who has developed a pioneering technique using microwaves to destroy liver tumours has treated more than 100 patients in the UK and other patients are now being treated internationally.

Worldwide, about one million people a year die of primary liver cancer, with another million dying with secondary liver cancer where the cancer has spread from other tumour sites such as cancer of the colon.

The incidence of primary liver cancer is gradually increasing in the Western world, but it is very common in Asia and the Far East where it is associated with endemic hepatitis. Most patients with liver cancer are deemed inoperable but with the development of this microwave equipment, literally thousands of patients worldwide could be offered curative treatment, even if they have established liver cirrhosis.

Mr David M Lloyd, MBBS, MD, FRCS, a consultant surgeon with University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust and of the University of Leicester, is also acclaimed for his innovative work in keyhole surgery. The University of Leicester has awarded him an Honorary Senior Lectureship, and earlier this month he won the title of Honoured Citizen of the Year for the City of Leicester.

David Lloyd's research, in collaboration with Professor Nigel Cronin and Dr. Peter Clegg at the University of Bath, has led to the development and production of a microwave generator and probe, now being manufactured by Acculis Ltd, UK. The treatment of more than 100 patients with liver cancer has resulted in curing or extending life for many of them, whose life prognosis was less than twelve months. More than one third of the patients treated are still alive after three years and some have been, quite simply, pronounced cured and discharged.

The earliest patient to be discharged is one of David Lloyd's trial patients treated nine years ago. Several more are alive and well five years after receiving treatment.

The importance of this application of microwave technology is immense, as Mr Lloyd explained: "The technique will have a significant effect on liver cancers, because we are operating on people who have been declared inoperable. Someone with cirrhosis of the liver can't be operated on in a conventional way to remove a tumour, but we can place a microwave probe in by keyhole or percutaneous (through the skin) methods and can destroy these tumours."

Because of the pioneering research done at the University Hospitals Leicester, the microwave generator is being used as far afield as Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and Australia. In particular, the microwave technology has been embraced by many of the top cancer hospitals in the US, including the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York, The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and the M D Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas. Mr Lloyd added: "We've placed several in France and Switzerland and many of the world's leading liver surgeons have now expressed an interest in using the generator.

Because David Lloyd was the only surgeon with this specialised equipment he was referred patients from all over the world for treatment. He is extremely pleased that more centres are now using the microwave device and, in the UK, there are now generators in major teaching hospitals in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Basingstoke and Edinburgh. David Lloyd calculates that within a couple of years, every major liver centre in the UK will probably have a microwave generator.

The advantage the microwave technique has over other machines designed to destroy tumours, such as laser, ultrasound and radio-frequency (which is similar to an electric current) is that it is quick and produces cancer cell death with very few side effects.

Only tissue in the immediate field of the microwave energy is destroyed, David Lloyd explained, and not in other parts of the body, which is a danger with other methods, such as radio-frequency, where the electric current has to have an exit point from the body, with the risk of burning at that site.

"Microwaves don't cause collateral damage elsewhere in the body," he said. "They only heat up the tissue at the end of the probe and no energy is sent through the body. We can now treat very large tumours up to 6-8 cms in diameter within 4-6 minutes. This makes it ideal for someone who may have multiple tumours, which by other techniques, might take several hours to treat.

"People have come to Leicester from all over the world," he added. "It has really put Leicester on the map, within this field. For the last ten years I have been invited to every world and European congress in liver surgery to talk about this development. There has been tremendous interest because of the frustration with other forms of energy which haven't delivered. Our system is safe, fast and reproducible and it does work.

"If it's used correctly there are no side effects, but because this is a very powerful device, it has to be used correctly. I tend to work in collaboration with a radiologist so that accurate placement of the microwave probe can be achieved. We have not seen significant side-effects so far."

Source - University of Leicester
4 Responses
717272 tn?1277594380
Thanks for sharing.  It's my understanding that anyone who has had cirrhosis is at risk of liver cancer, even after they have treated and repaired the cirrhosis.  While we are doing the hep C cure dance, we are setting up appointments for future CT scans.
87972 tn?1322664839
Many thanks! I’ve saved this to file; do you have a link for this? I’m screened every six months for HCC; they use U/S scan and AFP blood markers. This is wonderful news for both primary and secondary liver cancer patients… I wonder if this has been or will be adopted by the U.S. FDA?

And to echo Newleaf’s comments, I was told that while the risk for progressive liver degeneration can be halted via SVR, the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma continues…

Thanks again—

Bill
419309 tn?1326506891
Thanks for posting some very exciting info!  Up until now the only effective 'cures' for HCC have been either transplantation or resection, and many who are diagnosed do not have either option.  Due to  the highly vascular nature of most liver cancers, all the other treatments (radiofrequency-ablation, chemo-embolisation, etc) for HCC have only been palliative, so the possibility of non-surgical cure is absolutely thrilling.

Great of you to share the news -- definitely post the link for us if there is one.
~eureka

Avatar universal
What great news!  Thanks for posting such interesting info.  I'm at risk for both primary and secondary liver cancer so this is really good news for me, and I'll  be watching for more on this.  I hope it never becomes necessary, but I'll be off to Sloan Kettering in a heartbeat if need be.

jd
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
DC
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.