Topic: Treatment for Unresectable HCC - any advice?

Hi everyone,

My mother was diagnosed with HCC last month.  We met with a surgeon late March at Columbia University Hospital in NYC and he was confident that he would be able to remove the 5x8cm mass in my mother's liver found when a 3 phase CT scan was done.  When the surgeon opened my mother up he noticed that there were many smaller tumors that have spread around both lobes of my mother's liver that the CT scan did not pick up.  To prevent further damage and spreading, the surgeon decided not to remove the larger mass.  My mother has now fully recovered from the surgery and we are now deciding whether or not we should do a clinical trial or just use standard of care medication, Nexavar.  Are there any members here that have been diagnosed with HCC and had successful medication treatment?  We were also looking into chinese herbs to help my mother.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.  Thank you so much!

Regards,
Roman

2 (edited by PCL1029 Tue, 01 May 2012 13:53:02)

Re: Treatment for Unresectable HCC - any advice?

Hi,
The key to Chinese Herbal medicine is to find an experienced practitioner(very important);please read about this under our experience forum title under  "Complimentary and alternative treatment"

HCC is relatively chemotherapy-refractory tumor .Systemic chemotherapy is usually not well tolerated by ptients with significant underlying hepatic dysfunction(ie: liver cirrhosis,hepatic B or c  involvement).
In general, monotherapy like 5FU,gemcitabine,irinotecan and thalidomide have been used;combination therapies of cisplatin with other agents like 5FU,,Xeloda,gemcitabine,doxorubicin have been done also. GEMOX and FOLFOX and XELOX are regimens that can be of use.
Summary: The efficacy of cytotoxic chemotherapy is modest in patients with HCC.--- "Systemic treatment for advanced HCC"-- from uptodate.com literature review version19.3 sept.2011.
Targeted agent like Nexavar( ie:400mg twice a day) provide some benefit to patients and the treatment is well tolerated(side effecgts included diarrhea,hand-foot skin reaction) the treatment outcome depended on the health status of the patient(ie:degree of liver cirrhosis) at the time of diagnosis.
Other targeted agent like Avastin,sunitinib(Sutent),erlotinib,cetuximab have been used for HCC as clinical trials when used in combinations.
Hormone therapy like tamoxifen,megestrol and octreotide have been studied in advnced HCC but  cannot be recommended outside the context of a clinical trial.
If there are no spread or mets outside the liver, 2nd opinion or consult by interventional radiologist is recommended to consider other radiation treatments like RFA or radioembolization is of value to the patient.
I hope the info helps.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: Treatment for Unresectable HCC - any advice?

Thank you so much this has been extremely helpful.  My mother actually does not have cirrhosis, or HepB/C, so it is extremely hard for us to comprehend why she developed HCC.  In regards to other forms of radiation treatment, she does not qualify, but I will investigate the other treatments you mentioned.  If any one else has advice that they would like to add on, please feel free.  I appreciate any help that I can get.  Thanks again.

Re: Treatment for Unresectable HCC - any advice?

Roman...a warm welcome to our site. I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's diagnoses. Frequently we see that the true extent of the disease is determined via open surgery, as scans and other diagnostic aids still can't make up for the observation made by a surgeon. 
Roman, available treatment options for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma are similar to that of HCC, but they also differ.  Therefore it is unlikely for you to receive much (if any) information regarding HCC on this site.  What you may find though are clinical trials including both type of cancers and numerous postings regarding alternative treatments focused on liver disease.  Please, know that we care and that we are here to support you, but you may also want to reach out to forums focusing on HCC.
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Treatment for Unresectable HCC - any advice?

Thanks so much Marion for your advice.  I will definitely look into HCC forums for further information!