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Henry Ford Health System
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Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Tract Tumor Treatment

Our doctors use the latest research and medical technology to treat these complicated conditions and tumors—those of the liver, pancreas and biliary tract.

While each organ requires a different approach, there are general treatments our doctors use. To see a specific organ type, please visit:

Surgery for Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Tumors

Our surgeons perform these surgeries using three approaches:

  • Traditional: using an incision, your doctor will locate and remove as much of the tumor as possible
  • Laparoscopic: instead of one large incisions, you doctors will use three very small incisions to remove as much of the tumor as possible
  • Robot-assisted: using the surgical robot and small incisions, your doctor will remove as much of the tumor as possible. Advantages of using the robot include small incisions, reduced risk of infection, and higher visibility and precision for your doctor.
Pre-Surgery Scan Post Surgery Scan

Medical Oncology and Chemotherapy

We offer patients with liver, pancreatic and biliary cancers the most advanced approaches in chemotherapy and medication to treat cancer. Our physicians and scientists research new treatments and provide access to protocols such as a pancreatic cancer vaccine and novel therapeutics for liver cancer.

Henry Ford Hospital participates in multiple national clinical trials that your doctor may recommend as the primary course of action or in conjunction with other treatments. Enrollment depends on eligibility, and if your particular type of cancer is being studied at the hospital.

Ablation and Other Treatments

  • Ablation is a form of freezing or burning tumor tissue. Your doctor will discuss the right approach for you. These may include:
    • NanoKnife®: uses specialized frequencies to destroy tissue near ducts and other important structures. While removing the cancer is critical, not damaging the organ completely is top of mind for your surgeons. These advanced technologies allow them to pinpoint with precision exactly which tissue to destroy in order to save the organ and destroy the cancer.
    • Radio frequency: this uses radio waves to destroy the tumor
    • Microwave ablation: uses microwave technology to destroy the tumor
    • Cryoablation: this approach freezes tissue to destroy it
  • Ethanol injection: by injecting the tumor with ethanol, you destroy its cells
  • Chemoembolization and yttrium (TheraSphere®) embolization: this destroys blood supply to the tumor, essentially starving it

Radiation Treatments

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is an advanced type of high-precision radiation that improves the ability to conform the treatment  to the tumor shape in order to deliver the maximum dose of radiation to the tumor, and not the surrounding healthy tissue
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is the process of two- and three-dimensional imaging, immediately before each radiation treatment, to direct radiation therapy utilizing the imaging coordinates of the actual radiation treatment plan. An example of three-dimensional IGRT would include the use of cone-beam computed tomography.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS or SBRT) is the use of highly focused, intense beams of ionizing radiation to destroy small tumors within the liver or other parts of the body.

To see a specific organ type, please visit:

Speak with a Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Tumor Specialist

Questions? Request a consult and we will contact you within one business day. For referrals or patient appointments, please call (313) 916-6137.

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