Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer

Temple's GI Oncology team is experienced in managing the entire spectrum of primary and metastatic liver cancers. We provide patients access to all the latest treatments — including nonsurgical alternatives involving freezing, heating or chemical ablation. Therapeutic plans are designed collaboratively by a multidisciplinary team that includes hepatologists, surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, hematologists, gastroenterologists and pathologists.

Every patient has their care overseen by the most appropriate specialist. For example, in cases involving metastatic liver cancer, patients typically see an oncology specialist. Patients with primary liver cancer (e.g., hepatocellular carcinoma) are managed mainly by hepatologists who stage the cancer and help to determine the optimal timing and modality of locoregional therapy, resection or liver transplant.

To ensure patients have the best chance at early diagnosis, Temple reminds all gastroenterologists to screen patients who have cirrhosis with an ultrasound and serum alpha-fetoprotein level every 6 to 12 months.

Diagnostic and treatment options at Temple include:

  • Advanced surgical techniques for hepatic resection and management of hepatic metastases
  • Specially trained interventional radiologists who offer minimally invasive, nonsurgical hepatobiliary interventions
  • Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation or radioembolization with Yttrium-90 for patients who are not candidates for surgical resection or chemotherapy
  • Long-term infusional chemotherapy treatments and regional perfusion chemotherapy
  • Complex liver resections and liver transplantation

Temple Liver Cancer Team

Abdominal Organ Transplant Surgery
Andreas Karachristos, MD, PhD

Interventional Radiology
Gary Cohen, MD

Medical Oncology
Aruna Padmanabhan, MD

Case Study from the Temple Digestive Disease Center

In Liver Cancer, a 1-2-3 Punch

Rocco G., 50, was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma by his community gastroenterologist in Allentown, PA. The gastroenterologist sent the patient to a Temple hepatologist, who in conjunction with Temple imaging specialists performed several staging tests and determined that the tumor was too large to remove surgically.

The patient's case was presented and discussed by the Temple interdisciplinary liver cancer team, which determined that the tumor would be best treated with a multimodal approach including transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and systemic chemotherapy with sorafenib (a tyrosine protein kinase inhibitor), followed by orthotopic liver transplantation. The goal of the TACE and chemotherapy was to reduce the tumor burden and prevent its spread while the patient waited for a liver donor. Following six months of treatment, the tumor stopped growing. Shortly thereafter, Rocco received a liver transplant. Today, more than one year after surgery, he has made a full recovery and is cancer-free.

For Referrals to the Liver Cancer Program

Physician to Physician Referrals: 215-707-5555