A specialist team at Spire Southampton hospital has successfully completed over 200 treatments of Chemosaturation therapy (Chemosat®), an innovative procedure which is helping to extend the life expectancy of patients with metastatic liver cancer, usually resulting from ocular melanoma (a rare form of eye cancer).
Firmly established as the world’s leading oncology centre carrying out the technique, patients travel from all over the UK, Ireland, USA and Singapore to the UK to receive specialist treatment from the team headed up by Consultant Radiologist Dr Sachin Modi and Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Sanjay Gupta.
Chemosaturation is a technique which has been specially developed to treat liver metastases; cancer which has spread to the liver from another tissue or organ within the body. It works by isolating the blood supply to the liver before literally ‘saturating’ it in high dose chemotherapy.
Doctors use x-ray guidance to position a catheter with two small balloons, which, once inflated, isolate the liver’s blood supply before a concentrated dose of a chemotherapy drug is administered directly to the liver, saturating the entire organ. The contaminated blood leaving the liver is then directed outside of the body and through a filtration system that removes most of the chemotherapy agent before the blood is returned to the body.
Because the liver circulation is isolated from the rest of the body, doctors can administer chemotherapy at more concentrated doses than is possible with conventional chemotherapy. The advantages of Chemosaturation are that potentially both visible tumours and undetected microtumours are treated and patients tend to recover quickly, experiencing fewer side effects as very little chemotherapy drug enters the bloodstream.
Dr Sanjay Gupta comments: “We are the world’s leading centre for this procedure and have the highest number of recorded treatments in ocular melanoma liver metastases. Until Chemosaturation was available, patients had a very limited choice of treatments for liver metastases. This treatment has changed the way we treat ocular melanoma liver metastases. We know the treatment works and as a team, we have focussed on patient safety, leading to a very positive outcomes and improved quality of life for our patients.”