NFH Launches Hepatic Artery Infusion Program, first in North Central Florida
This innovative treatment gives patients with stage 4 colorectal cancer with unresectable liver metastasis a new option to improve their survival and enable future surgery for removal of liver metastasis.
HCA Florida North Florida Hospital announced today that the hospital’s first hepatic artery infusion pump (HAIP) procedure was successfully performed by Francisco Macedo, MD, a surgical oncologist with HCA Florida Gainesville Surgical Group on Friday, October 27, 2023. This innovative treatment gives patients with stage 4 colorectal cancer with unresectable liver metastasis a new option to improve their survival and enable future surgery for removal of liver metastasis. This was the first HAIP procedure performed in North Central Florida and second in all of HCA Healthcare. “Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and the liver is the most common site for cancer to spread. This therapy can potentially help countless patients in our community and beyond,” said Dr. Macedo.
Once a surgeon implants the HAIP, the patient’s medical oncology care team can administer chemotherapy directly into a patient’s liver. The liver processes the drug before it reaches the systemic circulation, allowing higher concentrations of the chemotherapy drug to be delivered with less side effects. The HAI chemotherapy is given concurrently with traditional chemotherapy, providing more durable response and improving the patient's survival.
“The hepatic artery infusion pump program is only offered by select cancer centers around the country, and we are proud that our surgical oncology program ranks among the most complex in order to be able to offer this service to our patients,” said Dr. Sherrie Somers, chief medical officer of HCA Florida North Florida Hospital. “It’s incredible to know that this is available to our community right here in North Central Florida.”
Traditionally, there are very few treatment options for patients with widespread liver metastasis from colorectal cancer. Treating patients with standard chemotherapy plus targeted therapies and other liver directed therapies is beneficial, however, over time, patients stop responding to these therapies and the cancer progresses. The hepatic artery infusion pump is an alternative that is administered along with conventional chemotherapy and gives these patients a second chance.
“It is an exciting time for oncology: we are personalizing treatment plans for each patient based on the unique characteristics of their disease,” said Dr. Laura Dickerson, a medical oncologist affiliated with HCA Florida North Florida Hospital. “With the hepatic artery infusion pump, we are able to deliver chemotherapy directly to the cancer cells in the liver. When we combine this directed treatment with traditional chemotherapy, we significantly increase how long patients live. I am thrilled to be part of this team.”
“To be able to provide this new therapy to patients who have very little hope is incredibly fulfilling,” said Dr. Macedo. “The hepatic artery infusion pump can give these patients a chance to improved survival or a potential cure of their stage 4 colorectal cancer. I am blessed and honored to work with a team who always puts our patients first, and as a team, we promise to continue to push the boundaries and move medicine forward to provide healthier tomorrows.”
To learn more about the hepatic artery infusion program and our surgical oncology services, or to schedule an appointment with a provider, visit HCAFloridaHealthcare.com or call (844) 706-8773.