Liver cancer is one of the most rapidly increasing types of cancer in the United States. Liver cancer is a cancer that begins in the cells of your liver. Cancer that spreads to the liver is more common than cancer that begins in the liver cells.
Why Choose Ochsner Health for Liver Cancer Treatment?
At Ochsner Health, our patients benefit from our collaborative approach to treating liver cancer by a highly skilled team of physicians, oncology nurses, social workers, researchers and other healthcare professionals. We provide hope to our patients by treating advanced cancer stages and complex cases. Our environment fosters innovation and collaboration to produce excellent outcomes for liver cancer treatment. Our current three-year risk adjusted mortality index is 0.49 for liver resection. This means our mortality rate is much less than expected for our patient population.
The Ochsner Cancer Institute Liver Tumor Treatment Center offers the full spectrum of cutting-edge technologies for care of patients with liver cancer and other liver tumors close to home. Our patient-centered approach ensures the highest quality care while maintaining patient comfort, minimizing treatment-related stress and anxiety.
Ochsner Health has been nationally recognized as High Performing Hospital for Cancer Care by U.S. News & World Report in 2020-2021.
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Care
A team of physicians, surgeons and other healthcare professionals dedicated to liver cancer diagnosis and treatment work together to deliver the most effective treatment and support available. We provide our patients with specialized knowledge that can make all the difference in treatment, quality of life and recovery.
Our team consists of surgical oncologists, transplant surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists and radiologists. The team discusses strategies for possible treatment including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, liver transplantation and clinical trial opportunities. Our dedicated nurse navigators work with patients and referring providers to facilitate scheduling appointments, coordinating home care, follow-up phone calls and help obtain records. They also help with extensive patient and family education which is vital to successful treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule an appointment, please call 1-504-842-4070.
You may call the Ochsner Cancer Institute oncology team directly at 504-842-3910 for urgent symptoms and health issues, 24 hours a day.
We offer same-day and next-day appointments. The physician support staff will coordinate with referring physicians to obtain a timely consultation and ensure all necessary studies are scheduled. We also offer virtual visits. If you are a new patient, your first virtual appointment is at the discretion of the provider. Learn more about virtual visits, here.
You may also schedule online through the MyOchsner patient portal. This allows you to conveniently schedule your next appointment yourself.
We have several resources available for patients. From chemotherapy treatments and support groups to financial and patient information, Ochsner Health provides support. Qualified patients and family members can obtain free lodging at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.
Ochsner Health has taken strides for treating this condition and patients now have a better chance for long-term survival. Using advanced technologies, we offer treatments to patients with extensive, bilateral liver involvement, a better chance at life.
Primary Liver Cancer
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
- Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer)
Secondary Liver Cancer (Metastatic Liver Cancer)
- Neuroendocrine tumor liver metastases
- Colorectal cancer liver metastases
- Metastases from other solid tumors
Benign Liver Lesions
- Hepatic adenoma
- Focal nodular hyperplasia
It’s common for patients with liver cancer to not have any signs of symptoms in the early stages. When signs and symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Losing weight without trying
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Abdominal swelling
- White, chalky stools
- Yellow discoloration of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- Upper abdominal pain
Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians if you experience any symptoms that worry you.
From clinical research trials to the most advanced technologies in diagnosis and treatment, Ochsner Health creates a treatment plan that is personalized for each patient. Your case will be reviewed by our multidisciplinary team to decide which treatment option is best for you. This decision is based on a number of factors including liver function, location of the tumor(s), size of the tumor, if the tumor has spread to other sites (metastasis) and functional capacity. Our treatment options include:
- Extended hepatectomy
- ALPPS procedure (Associate liver partition and portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy)
- Two-stage hepatectomy
- Ex-vivo hepatectomy
- Advanced laparoscopic liver surgery
- Liver transplantation for cancer
- Locoregional therapies (LRT) including radioembolization (Y-90) and chemoembolization
- Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy or Targeted Therapies
- Liver tumor embolization
- Laparoscopic liver resection
- Portal vein embolization
- Two-stage resections
Participating in a clinical trial may be a treatment of choice for some patients. These trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective. The standard treatments we use today were effective on earlier clinical trials. Our patients who enroll in a clinical trial may be the first to receive a prospective new treatment. These patients also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. If the trial does not lead to effective new treatments, they pave the way for our researchers by answering important questions moving forward.
Our team will be by your side during every step of your journey. Routine imaging will be done to monitor the status of your liver cancer.
Ochsner Health has one of the largest liver transplant programs in the country with excellent outcomes in the top percentile in the nation.
Liver transplantation can offer hope for many patients with advanced liver cancer. Unfortunately, many liver cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage when surgical resection is not possible. By treating the tumors with radiation and chemotherapy upfront, the objective is to ensure the tumor is confined to the liver and controlled so that, at the time of transplant, the cancer is removed entirely with the old liver. Using this approach, the outcomes were markedly improved, with 3-year patient survival of 70-80% compared with 10% or less with conventional chemotherapy alone.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Intra-Hepatic Cholangiocarcinoma
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary cancer of the liver and has a defined role for liver transplantation. HCC occurs most frequently in patients with chronic liver disease which cause cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, making liver resection (removal of part of the liver with surgery) unsafe. Liver transplant plays a central role in managing HCC tumors because the diseased liver is removed, reducing the risk of tumor recurrence.
Intra-hepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) is often discovered incidentally on imaging or evaluation of abnormal liver tests. When iCCA is discovered at an early stage, liver resection is often the best treatment option. Due to the rare symptoms, this tumor is often diagnosed at an advanced stage when the tumor is too large to remove surgically.
New systemic immunotherapy treatments can be used to control and shrink very advanced tumors. Through a process called downstaging, targeted delivery of radiation beads, chemotherapy beads or ablation of the tumors is used to shrink the tumors to be considered for a liver transplant.
Colorectal Cancer Metastasis to the Liver
An estimated 50% of patients with cancer in the colon or rectum will see the cancer spread to the liver at some point. The spread, called metastasis, reduces the survival of those patients who will have an average survival of 50% at two years and 20% at five years. The best option for colorectal metastasis in the liver is through surgical resection, which raises the chance of survival to 60% at five years. Unfortunately, only 20% of the patients with liver metastasis will be candidates for surgical resection. Of those 20%, many patients will develop recurrence within the first three years of their liver resection. So, for most patients with liver metastases the current standard of care does not offer many surgical options.
Over the last years, a unique approach that combines different therapeutic options that include liver transplantation has reached an outstanding 5-years survival of 83% in select patients with unresectable liver-only metastases of colorectal cancer. This promising approach provides the longest overall survival reported for this advance cancer stage. Due to its complexity, this novel approach is only offered in a few institutions around the world. This protocol may involve the use of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiological treatments, surgery and liver transplantation. As every patient is unique, each case is carefully evaluated by the multi-disciplinary team to develop a personalized treatment.
Our Multidisciplinary Team
Our dedicated multi-disciplinary team works closely together to develop a treatment plan that is clear, coordinated and efficient. We welcome patients with a new diagnosis, those looking for a second opinion or seeking alternative treatment options.
The Ochsner Transplant Institute provides consistent follow-up information to all referring physicians via written correspondence. You’ll be kept abreast of initial clinic visits, surgery, hospital discharge and routine follow-up visits to the clinic. After surgery, our team continues to monitor for transplant-related complications and regulates maintenance immunosuppression.