At NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, people with liver cancer — including hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic bile duct cancer — benefit from a team of healthcare professionals with exceptional experience diagnosing and treating benign and malignant liver tumors and liver metastases (cancers that spread to the liver from other sites). We also offer clinical trials of promising new treatment approaches to advance the field and to raise the survival rate of people with liver cancer and liver metastases. Our ultimate goal: to cure your cancer and maintain your quality of life.
A Team of Liver Cancer Experts
The liver cancer team at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens includes gastroenterologists, surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, interventional radiologists, and other specialists known for providing leading medical, surgical, and supportive care for people with liver cancer. All of the healthcare providers you need are available to you through one medical center. Our doctors are also on the cancer care team at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Liver Cancer Surgery
Surgery is the preferred treatment for operable liver cancer and offers the best chance for long-term cure. Our surgeons use minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques for liver surgery whenever possible. If you have early-stage liver cancer, you may be able to have a liver transplant. If this is the case, you can have your transplant in Manhattan through the NewYork-Presbyterian Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation and receive your pre-transplant and post-transplant care at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. If you cannot undergo transplantation, you may be able to have partial removal of liver tissue to remove your cancer.
Interventional (Local) Treatments
People with inoperable liver tumors may have "loco-regional" therapies. In some cases, these techniques can make an inoperable cancer operable.
- Ablation. At NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, our interventional radiologists offer ablation, a minimally invasive treatment for smaller liver tumors (less than one and a half inches in diameter) which uses intense heat or microwaves to destroy cancer tissue. Our specialists use imaging techniques such as ultrasound or computed tomography to help guide the probe into the tumor.
- Radioembolization. Radioembolization is an additional nonsurgical treatment option; with radio-arterial embolization, tiny spheres of a radioactive substance (yttrium-90) are delivered to the tumor via the main artery in the liver. The radioactive substance then kills cancer cells.
- ERCP. Blockage of the bile duct is a potential complication of liver tumors, previous liver surgery, and bile duct cancer. Our interventional endoscopists are experienced in the use of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to treat bile duct obstructions to relieve pain and other symptoms.
Precision Radiation Therapy
Our Radiation Oncology Center is home to the most advanced technologies. Some patients with liver cancer benefit from intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which enables us to deliver precisely targeted radiation directly to the tumor while sparing nearby healthy tissue. We also offer stereotactic body radiotherapy, delivering pencil-thin beams of radiation to target the cancer.
Medical Treatments and Immunotherapy for Liver Cancer
Targeted therapies (also called biologic therapies) are drugs that inhibit cancer cell growth by blocking the molecules that fuel their growth or the development of the blood vessels they use to grow and spread. The most commonly used targeted therapy for primary liver cancer is sorafenib, a tablet which you can take by mouth at home.
We are now also able to use immunotherapy for some patients with hepatocellular carcinoma — treatments such as pembrolizumab, nivolumab, and ipilimumab/nivolumab — which boost the power of the immune system to find and kill cancer cells. You can receive intravenous therapies in our modern, comfortable infusion center, directed by medical oncologists and staffed by experienced oncology nurses who monitor your health and comfort during your infusion.
Expertise Treating Liver Metastases
The liver is a common site for cancer cells to travel from other sites, such as the colon and breast. Our doctors have strong expertise in the treatment of liver metastases. We offer the latest approaches to improve quality of life and extend survival — including surgical removal and radiation therapy.
We understand that a diagnosis of cancer can take a toll on you as well as your loved ones. That's why we offer a full range of psychosocial, nutritional, and other support services for people with liver cancer. Our palliative care specialists ensure that your quality of life is the best it can be from the moment of diagnosis and throughout your treatment.