Breakthrough Liver Cancer Treatment

Sheba Doctors Perform Breakthrough Liver Cancer Treatment

For the first time in Israel, surgeons at Sheba Medical Center performed a cutting-edge procedure on a patient with liver cancer. They extracted a cancer-infected liver from a patient, removed the tumor, and then performed a healthy liver transplant back into the patient’s body.

Worldwide, this advanced surgery has only been done on approximately 100 patients. In Israel, Prof. Daniel Azoulay performed the procedure, working in collaboration with Dr. Elon Lahat and a comprehensive team of medical specialists, including anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, and technicians.

A few years ago, the patient, a woman in her thirties, was diagnosed in Brazil with colon cancer. Upon her immigration to Israel, doctors examined her and diagnosed a metastasis of about 15 cm to the liver. They designed a treatment program that involved delivering chemotherapy immediately, followed by the progressive surgery.

The operation was done as a three-part process. First, surgeons excised the liver out of the body and immersed it in sterile ice with a temperature of 4 ° C. Then, they cut out the cancerous tumor while the liver remained iced. In the final stage, the healthy liver was transplanted back into the patient.

“This is one of the most complex liver surgeries in the world,” said Prof. Azoulay. “It involves the integration of liver surgery – which is always complicated – and a liver transplant. This surgery poses many serious risks, including potentially fatal bleeding. However, to our great pleasure, the patient survived, and we hope to send her home within 10 days.”