A New Way To Treat Melanoma That Has Spread To The Liver

July 01, 2013
Treat Melanoma
Researchers at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center continue to pioneer cancer treatments that are being used around the world. Mark Faries, MD, director of the Institute's melanoma research program, has helped develop a treatment called “isolated liver perfusion.” He is also training other surgeons in England, Germany and France to perform this cutting-edge procedure.

Oncologists know that advanced melanoma tends to spread more often to particular areas including the liver, a vital organ. This innovative, interdisciplinary technique involves physically isolating blood vessels leading to and from the liver and then delivering chemotherapy directly to the organ.

By isolating the liver, the patient can receive very high doses of chemotherapy, because the rest of the body is spared most of the exposure to the drug. Using this method, Dr. Faries and other researchers in the United States have demonstrated remarkable responses in patients whose tumors were resistant to all other forms of therapy.

Saint John’s Health Center is the only site in the West Coast approved to perform this procedure.