[MOL] Living with Liver and Kidney Cancer.... [01322] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Living with Liver and Kidney Cancer....





Living With Liver Cancer
Television News Service/Medical Breakthroughs
Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. October 2000

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- For people waiting for kidney transplants, dialysis can help them survive until an organ is available. For heart patients, there are mechanical devices to keep the heart beating. However for liver patients, the outlook has been bleak. Now, a new procedure increases survival six times over. This keeps them alive while waiting for a donated liver.

For Jim Gerron, a day to relax with his dogs, Joey and Daisy, is a day to cherish. "I really don't think I had a whole lot of time left," he remembers.

Jim had liver cancer. A transplant was his only hope for survival. That could take months -- time Jim didn't have. He explains, "Had the cancer spread outside the liver I would not have been eligible for a transplant."

Interventional radiologist Mahmood Razavi, M.D., of Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, California, found a way to keep it from spreading.

"If you will, putting a town under siege, you block the supply of food to the city and you block the outflow," says Dr. Razavi.

 In the same manner, he delivered toxic drugs through the artery that brings oxygen and food into the tumor. The exit artery was blocked off.

Dr. Razavi adds, "And then we could give very highly toxic drugs that would kill the tumor without any complications or impact on the rest of the body."

Jim's tumor shrank drastically. Eight months later he got his transplant and a second chance at life.

Jim says, "Medically I think we're living in an exciting age. We're fortunate for it. Otherwise I wouldn't be here, that's for sure."

He's now back to enjoying the beauty of his garden.

The same procedure is also being used to treat patients with tumors of the kidney, lung and bones. Dr. Razavi says it can be used in patients who are older or who have another medical condition that would make them ineligible for a transplant.


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