A team of surgical oncologists from the WVU Cancer Institute, including Wallis Marsh, MD, Carl Schmidt, MD, and Brian Boone, MD, have performed the state’s first isolated hepatic perfusion, an operation that delivers chemotherapy directly to the liver to treat metastases that cannot be surgically removed.
“Complex surgical procedures like isolated hepatic perfusion are possible here at WVU due to a highly skilled and dedicated team of anesthesiologists, perfusionists, pharmacists, and nurses that maximize the success of the operation,” Dr. Schmidt said.
In many cases, cancer metastases to the liver are unable to be removed because they affect a large area of the organ. By directly infusing chemotherapy into the liver, the patient is able to avoid many of the effects of chemotherapy when it is distributed through the entire system.
“These patients are at an advanced stage of cancer when it has spread to the liver,” Dr. Boone said. “By infusing chemotherapy directly into the liver, we are able to stop or slow the progression of their metastases, giving these patients more time.”
The isolated hepatic perfusion is one of several regional therapy procedures now offered by WVU Medicine surgical oncology, including delivery of heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) for peritoneal malignancy and placement of hepatic artery infusion pumps for liver metastases.
“The ability to offer advanced procedures like this at WVU Medicine helps us stand apart from other academic medical centers as leaders in innovation,” Dr. Marsh said.
The patient is doing well and is recovering at home.
W est Virginia University’s Cancer Institute is well-known for its treatment and innovation. Leading the institute is Dr. Richard Goldberg, who has not only established himself as a transformative leader but also a potent researcher and educator. A native of upstate New York, the renowned gastrointestinal cancer expert came to Morgantown about two years ago. Goldberg previously worked at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where he served as the Klotz Family Professor of Cancer Research, the physician‐in‐ chief of the James Cancer Hospital, the associate director of the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center and the acting division director of the Division of Medical Oncology. Before that, he also worked at the University of North Carolina and the Mayo Clinic. Goldberg is one of many world-class physicians recruited by WVU Medicine during the past few years, whose research has resulted in more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, including those in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of Clinical Oncology
The WVU Cancer Institute is among six organizations to receive an inaugural Medline Breast Cancer Awareness grant, which is awarded to organizations to further the mission to eradicate breast cancer and provide counseling. The grant drives awareness around prevention and early detection by providing support to organizations that provide direct patient care.
Researchers across campus are taking a One WVU approach to solving important problems and saving lives. At its core, an experimental therapeutics platform that integrates multiple disciplines from chemistry and biology to the health sciences and cancer institute.