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Thread: Liver Cancer spread to Portal Vein

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Liver Cancer spread to Portal Vein


    My dad was diagnosed with Liver cancer which has spread to the portal vein. They have started with Nexar and 2 days back they performed the Therashpere procedure for the tumor present in the portal vein.

    Would like suggestions if there are any other forms of treatments available which we could try out. My dad is 50 and has diabetes (oral medication)

    Any useful suggestions would be highly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hi PSP,

    Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry about this diagnosis for your Dad. I don't know much about liver cancer, even though that's what took my Dad, but that was over 20 years ago. Diagnosis and treatment have changed a lot since then.

    I hope someone drops by that will be able to share with you. This procedure sounds interesting as I didn't know they are able to do something once it goes to the portal vein.

    Wishing your Dad and family much luck!

    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  3. #3
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I have a similar diagnosis and am looking for similar answers. I was diagnosed last month with stage 3 liver cancer, and the tumor is in the portal vein, making it inoperable. I'm 3 weeks into chemo pills and start radiation treatment next week. The goal for that treatment is to step the tumor's growth. My doctor mentioned radioactive beads injected into the tumor (therasphere?), but not yet. After 20 radiation treatments over two months, they'll take new pictures and re-evaluate. We feel we're getting the best treatment at the University of Michigan, but are seeking other opinions, trying to connect with others in similar situations, and remaining optimistic.
    Diagnosed with stage 3 liver cancer in June 2011. Started chemo pills and radiation in July 2011. Powered by Optimism.

  4. #4
    My mom has been fighting liver cancer (inoperable and in the portal vein) for 11 months. She did the theraspheres but had some issues with complications. She then had 2 chemoembolizations to treat the side of the tumor that was not in the portal vein. She also went through 2 months of nexavar. She had a lot of complications with the nexavar so she had to stop. I believe all of this gave her more time....but it was a tough road she had to travel.

    I wish your dad and MichiganGreg luck in the fight. It is a tough one.

  5. #5
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Physicians treating my dad have seen something unidentifiable in his portal vein. It is purported to be a tumor. What does it mean when there is a tumor in the portal vein? Why has this been relatively common with liver cancer patients? Will portal vein tumors propound into system cancer more easily than tumors that are located elsewhere on the organ?

    Silverlining, psp, and MichiganGreg, how are you and your loved ones doing?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    bethel park pa
    jkharvey- unfortunately wherever the growth starts- it just interferes with anything in its path.
    when it grows through lymphatic systems and veins- its the two main avenues of how the body gets its nutriens/ defence etc throughout the body,
    so if they are invaded with something bad- that too will spread- easier access for the cancer to travel.
    there is a proceedure called embolization where if they at first cannot operate- the do this proceedur by injecting something into the area that has the cancer, which blocks the blood flow and this in turn coaxes the liver to regenerate(grow) once the liver is big enough to take care of its primary function, the cancer affected area can then be removed.
    radiation in some cases will shrink the area of cancer so that less liver needs to be removed.
    The radiation is usually first- sometimes the second proceedure isnt necessary.
    If the tumor is eleswhere in a specific organ and hasnt become a higher stage as III or IV then most of it will remain in that site. untill they continue to grow past the area.
    thats why its good to catch it in earlier stages the risk of it running into veins and lymphs especially are almost inevitable in the higher stages. the lymphatic system is big and we have lymph nodes everywhere. of course they too can be removed but no gaurantee there wasnt a spread prior to removal- hope this helps a bit.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.


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