I have a friend with liver cancer and he has had radiation treatment and is on the waiting list for a liver transplant from U. of Pa. hospital in Philadelphia, so a transplant is something to pursue. Maybe you need to go to another hospital?
Hepatocellular Carcinoma or Hepatocellular Cancer Questions
Organ Transplant or Not?
Asked by steve70x7 on Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Organ Transplant or Not?
After my liver surgery I was sent to a Transplant Hospital for evaluation. This has been more stressful than the cancer itself. We are confused and frustrated at this process. My Oncologist isn't encouraging and the transplant doctor has left us up in the air about weather I'm qualified or not. At this point I'm not even sure I would want to go down this road, but I don't want to shut any doors.
Have any of you had Transplant experiences?
5 Answers from the Community
My understanding is that in order to be eligible to be on the liver transplant list you have to have the right MELD score. I did some research on it last summer, but don't have the details as my daughter is not eligible for a transplant. Her tumors are too large and too numerous. Additionally, and thankfully (!), her liver functions are too good to score well. I think the tumor size needs to be under 4 cm and can not be multifocal, but I am not certain of this. I've also heard of patients being 'downstaged' and brought within criteria. We consulted with UCLA because they indicated she might be eligible for a mariginal donor or amyloid donor (these are 'second' quality livers that many hospitals don't utilize, but that UCLA has had success with). As far as a live liver donor we asked about this, but were told that they would not do it for the reasons above and further once given a transplant her immune system would not be able to fight off any micro cancer cells. In fact we were told that it could be akin to setting off a wild fire of cancer in her body.
On a more positive note, the liver is an amazing organ with incredible regenerative qualities. In our daughter's case, her entire right lobe is a mass of tumors and the left lobe is enlarged to about the size of an entire liver. She is being treated in Portland, OR at OHSU and because of her youth and body tolerating the treatments she has had a total of 9 treatments: 5 yttrium-90 radioembolization and 4 TACE chemoembolization. She is scheduled to have her right lobe removed in less than two weeks.
My husband had a liver transplant in February and was doing great for the 1st 3 months. We thought we had it made and he was going back to work on a light schedule. Then he developed bilomas in the right portion of his liver and had to have the t-tube put back in for drainage. No one has come forward with a reason as to why this happened all of a sudden. He ran a high fever, headache and sensitivity to light. Was in hospital 13 days for treatment, came home on IV antibiotics and then had the same symptoms again. Back to hospital, another biloma 5cm above one already being drained along with a smaller one below. Another t-tube inserted, cultures taken and he is now being put on another drug. Appears he has vancomycin resistant enterocococci (VRE) so will go on linezolid. We went in not knowing about bilomas, so be sure to ask all the questions when considering your transplant. In answer to Nexavar, he had a terrible reaction prior to transplant with blisters on his feet so bad he couldn't even walk. He was down to only 2 per day at that time. Is on nexavar now (after transplant--1 tablet per day) and seems to be tolerating it well.
Well I have not faced this condition. However, I have the experience of organ transplant in my home, when my sister has to go for a liver transplant surgery at very young age. My mother was her donor and surgery is held at http://www.justsavelives.com/ organ transplant center. At that time, it was very annoying to face this severe condition, but when no other options left we do have to wait and keep us calm to get best result.
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