What is Metastatic Liver Cancer?

by | Apr 15, 2024 | CyberKnife Treatment for Liver Cancer, Liver Cancer, Metastatic Cancer

Metastatic liver cancer – or cancer that has spread to the liver – is more common than you think.

According to the National Institutes of Health, secondary liver cancer accounts for 25% or one-quarter of all cases of cancer metastases. The American Cancer Society says that one of the most common cancers to spread to the liver is colorectal cancer.

In fact, between 20% and 25% of colorectal cancer patients will develop liver cancer as well.  

However, other cancers also spread to the liver as well including breast, stomach, pancreatic, lung, and kidney cancers as well as melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer. 

And there’s a reason the liver is a common place for cancer to spread.

The dual blood supply of the liver not only makes it uniquely susceptible to metastasis from gastrointestinal cancers,” according to the NIH.

The NIH article goes on to explain that for the same reason, the liver is susceptible to cancer metastasis, it’s also receptive to interventional therapies.

Without treatment, there is a 5% five-year survival rate for metastatic liver cancer.  With treatment, the five-year survival rate can jump well over the 50% mark.

“Treatment strategies are rapidly evolving worldwide, with a movement towards an inter-professional approach for better outcomes,” the article reads.

Surgery may be the standard of care for cancers that spread to the liver. But there are other options – and not just for patients where the cancer is deemed inoperable.  One of those options includes stereotactic body radiotherapy or SBRT.

“The data for the use of SBRT in the setting of liver metastasis is encouraging. It offers a far less invasive approach to treatment with excellent local control and acceptable toxicity compared to hepatic resection or even other less invasive measures such as radio-frequency ablation and Trans arterial chemo/radio-embolization,” the authors from the University of Tennessee write.

According to a Dutch study from 2021, with SBRT, the one-year survival rate for metastatic liver cancer was 84% at one year and 44% at three years.

One form of SBRT is with a technology called CyberKnife. 

“A study of 75 patients with liver cancer treated using the CyberKnife System found that 89.8 percent of patients showed no progression of cancer beyond the liver two years following treatment. Overall survival at the one-year follow-up was 78.5 percent and at the two-year follow-up was 50.4 percent,”  Accuray, the maker of CyberKnife, says on its website.

CyberKnife for Metastatic Liver Cancer

CyberKnife uses a technology called an image-guided linear accelerator to deliver precision radiation by a robotic arm, according to Accuray.

CyberKnife accuracy is sub-millimetric, which can help significantly reduce the risk of the side effects that too often disrupt the lives of patients during and after treatment,” Accuray states.

One of the most experienced treatment centers for CyberKnife is the CyberKnife Center of Miami. We have been treating liver cancer patients for two decades.

CyberKnife Miami for Metastatic Liver Cancer

“Treating liver cancer with traditional radiation therapy is not an option due to the sensitivity of liver tissue to radiation. CyberKnife’s tracking technology eliminates that risk,” according to CyberKnife Miami. “The system can continuously pinpoint and follow a tumor’s exact location as the patient breathes normally while on the treatment table, enabling 100 to 200 radiation beams to attack only the tumor from all different angles, leaving healthy tissue unharmed. It kills the tumor cells and over time the tumor disappears. CyberKnife Radiotherapy delivers high doses of radiation in three to five treatments with excellent control rates.”

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer and you want to know more about treatment options or get a second opinion, call the experts at CyberKnife Miami at 305-279-2900 or go to our website now for more information www.cyberknifemiami.com.