Topic: Ever heard of or had Liver Dialysis?!?!

My brother continues to fight hard to get to chemo.  He has had obstacles of a liver abscess, stents and drains placed and replaced, and sepsis while continuing to have a persistent elevated bilirubin level that will NOT go down.  Originally his first stent placed in the beginning brought his bilirubin down from around a 6 to a 2.  But with surgery and everything I listed above, the bilirubin today is 12.5  Doctors here feel like their hands are tied with what to do next because the stents are working well and his original liver abscess is reducing in size and not draining much anymore.  Doctors went as far as to say, we don't know if we will ever get to chemo with this infection and elevated bilirubin.  Well, of course as CC fighters, we say that "NEVER" is not an answer or option! smile 

We consider to brainstorm and "think outside of the box" as the doctors here are saying.  My brother believes that getting out of the hospital, going home for some R&R with IV antibiotics will clear the infection, allow some mental strength to rebuild which rebuild his immune/physical strength and help bring that bilirubin level down.  Even the liver specialist said his liver, itself, is healthy and not acutely failing. 

With all that said, has anyone on this website ever used or heard of liver dialysis with CC?  The doctors have heard of MARS and ELAD which are mainly used in cirrhotic patients as a bridge to transplant.  This hospital is going to begin this dialysis here even though it is still in the experimental phase.  One of the liver doctors has a close relationship with the MARS or ELAD company (not sure which one) and will bring this case to them.  I told the doctor that if this is a possibility with CC patients, that I could share this idea on this website and potentially save many lives.  It just makes sense...clean out the toxins, make the levels to a chemo-ready state, and get chemotherapy started! 

Let me know of your thoughts and any ideas!!!

Re: Ever heard of or had Liver Dialysis?!?!

Thank you for sharing this information.  I perused the ELAD site:  According to the articles clinical trials had started in January.  I could not though, find anything on MARS.  Patty (the librarian) is able to find "EVERYTHING" (at least that is what I believe.)  Patty? 
I don't recall anyone on this board to have undergone this treatment.  Possibly, someone else is out there who could share some of this valuable information with us.  Anyone out there in cyberspace?
I thank for you thinking of us in the midst of all you are going through.  I am wishing for your brother to be able to come home and recuperate in his own surroundings and for these darn liver values to drop to an acceptable level.
Best wishes coming your way,


Re: Ever heard of or had Liver Dialysis?!?!

Hi Ashley, sounds like it may be something exciting! Did you get hold of that doctor at MD?


Re: Ever heard of or had Liver Dialysis?!?!

Thank you both Lainy and Marion for your replies as well as your personal phone calls! 

We are out of ICU but not out of "trouble".  Bilirubin still elevated at 13.1, infection not clear and found another pocket of fluid collection now on his left lobe of the liver . They are unsure if this is an abscess or just bile collection from narrowed ducts.  The pocket is to high to stent with an ERCP but can be reached with a percutaneous drain.  Problem is, they are afraid of placing another drain then he may run another risk of infection, bleeding and a pocket to pop up elsewhere.  The doctors ask us, where do they stop with poking him and placing drains all over.  My brother is growing emotionally tired fast b/c of this continuous problem. 

As for the liver dialysis, the chairman of the liver dept came to discusss with us liver dialysis.  He reminded us that they are still experimenting with it and has never been used on cancer patients.  But he said he will talk to the company and get back to us.  But, of course, we can't do or consider anything until this infection is cleared. 

My brother is choosing to go home and hope these "pockets" don't turn into another abscess.  He just wants to go for Christmas, and I understand.  After all, he is the one being poked and stuck.  We just feel SO frustrated.

The MD Anderson doctor gladly reviewed my brother's situation with our doctors and MD Anderson had no new ideas. 

Please let me know if you all think of anything or anywhere to go!  If anyone out there on this website has had similar reoccurring abscess and infection experiences with elevated bilirubin, please let me know of any plan you used that "fixed" it.  We just want him to get to chemotherapy!!!!!  THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!