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Liver Cancer MDT

Liver Cancer Services at Oxford University Hospitals offers a wide range of treatments for both primary and secondary liver cancer.

Primary liver cancer means the disease starts in your liver. There are several types. The most common types are hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CC).

Secondary liver cancer starts in another part of your body, such as your bowel, before spreading to the liver.

Treatment modalities

Radical surgery

This involves either minimal access (keyhole laparoscopic or robotic) or open surgical removal of liver tumours.

Microwave ablation techniques

A small probe is passed through the abdominal wall into the liver and directly into the tumour. The probe is then heated using microwaves to kill cancer cells. This is done under a general anaesthetic.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)

SBRT gives radiotherapy from many different angles around the body. The beams meet at the tumour. This means the tumour receives a high dose of radiation and the tissues around it receive a much lower dose. This lowers the risk of side effects.

Selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT)

Selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) is also called radio-embolisation (RE). This is a method of selectively targeting liver tumours with radioactive beads, carried out under local anaesthetic.

Selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) - videos

Chemoembolisation

A type of chemotherapy where the drug is injected directly into the affected part of your liver to kill the cancer cells and cut off the blood supply to the affected area.

Chemotherapy

The best approach may be for you to receive chemotherapy before surgery. Following a course of chemotherapy, you may have further scans and, if suitable, surgery for your cancer. This is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy and reduces the risk of tumour being left behind after surgery.

In some patients surgery happens first. If the cancer has been completely, chemotherapy may be given afterwards to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back. This is known as adjuvant chemotherapy.

If the cancer cannot be removed, chemotherapy may be used to control it and prevent it from progressing. If the cancer has spread beyond the liver, chemotherapy may be used to try and prevent the cancer from progressing further and relieve the symptoms. This is called palliative chemotherapy.

Palliative care

Please see Palliative care

Other treatments

These could be novel as well as main stay chemotherapy in combination, including monoclonal antibody treatment may be offered as part of clinical trials of new therapies.

Our team

The Oxford Liver Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) is a well-established renowned group of experts with a specialist interest in the diagnosis, treatment and management of people with suspected cancers of the liver, in particular, those with colorectal liver metastasis. The team comprises doctors, nurses and other health professionals who manage the treatment of these cancers in Oxfordshire.

The Oxford Liver MDT also offers a specialist service and advice for others within the Thames Valley Cancer Network including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire. We follow international guidelines to provide research driven patient care with our close links with the University of Oxford and Cancer Research UK.

The team meets weekly on a Friday at 1.00pm to discuss, in confidence, suspected newly diagnosed and referred patients with cancers of the liver. The MDT meetings offer a forum for the team members to plan an agreed programme of investigation and treatment specific to individual patient needs. This approach ensures that all necessary investigations are carried out on an individual patient basis as quickly as possible.

For further information please see:

Liver cancer MDT staff

Referrals

Please see Liver MDT referrals

Find us and contact us

The Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgical Team
Surgical Administration
Level 0, Cancer Centre
Churchill Hospital
Headington
Oxford OX3 7LJ

How to find the Churchill Hospital

Tel: 01865 572182

Links

Last reviewed:03 January 2023