Spike - laser treatment to liver

Hi Spike,
I noticed on the Avastin thread you mentioned you are having laser surgery to your liver. Can you tell us a bit more about it - how many tumours you have, what the ‘selection’ criteria were for it, how often, what it’s like, where you have it, is it part of a trial, etc? I presume it’s not the same thing as RFA (Radio frequency ablation)?

Just wanted to let you no that there is information on Laser treatment for the liver on cancerbacup.

Hi Jacquie

I’m out in Germany at the moment just having had my last laser treatment to the liver. It was confirmed yesterday that my liver is now in remission. I was diagnosed with 3 lesions on the liver in December 2007, measuring 4 cm, 2-3 cm and 9mm with a few other spots. My UK Onc kindly caved into my request for Avastin which I started in May 2008, alongside Xeloda.

During Feb, Mar, Apr and May I had 4 chemoembolizations which is a therapy that injects chemo directly into the liver rather than having systemic to the whole body. This reduced the size of my liver tumours by approximately 40-50%. Following this treatment I then was able to have the laser treatment to the liver to zap the tumours completely. The first of the laser treatments was last month at a hospital in Frankfurt by the world renowned Professor Vogl. The second laser treatment was on Tuesday. The first laser treatment was very painful but was not so painful on Tuesday.

Unfortunately this treatment has not been offered in the UK. I have asked my UK Oncologist if I am able to get laser treatment to the liver but she was very vague and did not think this was possible. I have recently found a clinic in Basingstoke, Hampshire that does do laser treatment but do not have the details on me in Germany.

For me this has been a very intensive year of treatments but it has to be worth it as my liver is now clear for the time being. I just hope that we can keep it this way!

I hope this has been of some help.

Best wishes


Wow, thanks for that Spike. It all sounds very aggressive (in a good way) and targeted. I will definitely save a copy of your post for later on when I need other options. I’ve never heard of it before - or chemoembolisation. It sounds like it makes such sense.
Are you paying to have this done privately? Or do you have insurance? Hope you don’t mind my asking.
love Jacquie

Hi Jacquie

All this treatment has been paid for privately. I have only managed to do this through fantastic fund raising initiatives by friends and family. Unfortunately it does not come cheap as we are all beginning to realise with cancer treatment and drugs but this is just so much more proactive and there is no waiting around to see what happens.

Best wishes.


This is not laser treatment, but is an interesting development of ultrasound: hifucancertreatment.co.uk/

For those with cancers in the liver, it may be worth looking into.

I am so glad I read this tread.

I asked my onc about treating the liver and he said he had never heard of it in Britain. I am going to print this and send it to him.


Hi Gill

Apart from liver surgery abroad, I came across a clinic in Basingstoke who do liver surgery also. I found this site following a news bulletin celebrating 60 years of the NHS. It was an article about Merv Rees and his pioneering work in the field of secondary liver cancer. I wrote to the clinic in Basingstoke and they said that they do treat breast cancer secondaries if they are suitable for this type of treatment. They did say they prefer the liver to be the only site of disease but they have done others cases if the bone secondaries are controlled by other means. At the end of the day there are other treatments out there so why do our own Oncs not know about them? Surely they attend conferences for new up & coming treatments whether they are offered privately or on the NHS. It’s ridiculous really because this is supposed to be a specialist field and if your own Oncologist doesn’t keep up his knowledge of new treatments then we’re going backwards!!

Moan over.


ps the Basingstoke clinic is called “The Pelican Cancer Foundation”

Thanks for that, Spike.

I have found the site and e-mailed them to see if I can be seen.

How are you? How long were you in Germany? What is the name of the Clinic you go to? How do you find doing this?

Is the Liver your only secondary site?

I am seeing my onc in 12th Sept for a review of my chemo after a scan. I want as much info as I can for then so I can try to discuss options. I sometimes thing the oncs do not like the surgeons interfering -?

go well Spike


Hi Girls

Have been following the thread with interest because I also have mets in the liver ( and in the bones ) and when I mentioned liver ablation to my Onc he didn’t really comment too much. I felt that he wanted to follow the conventional route of treatment. I might be wrong. He is very experienced and I have great faith in him. At the moment my mets are small and I am two thirds of the way through FEC and so I won’t know until the chemo has finished and I have a scan whether they have reduced or not but I have read where others have had surgery and it has worked. So like Gill I want as much info as possible for my meeting with him in October


Hi All

I am too following this thread with great interest and would love to know more about it all, My Onc does not seem to like to talk about surgery or ablation to the liver, even though i had a seconde opinion in Feb this year. But now that my last scan in June showed even more shrinkage, I would like to go down more avenues and find out more options open to me, so like the others any more information would be greatly appreciated.


It seems to be the opinion that ‘we don’t do that’ and that is it.

we need to know why and understand

Hi all

Just wanted to let you know how I’m doing after my liver surgery last week. I flew out to Germany on Monday 18th for the operation on Tuesday 19th. I had the operation in Frankfurt at the Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität. The operation was carried out as an outpatient by Professor Vogl. The operation took 2 hours and then I had to be monitored for a further 6 hours.

I then travelled to the Oncology clinic near Munich which is called the Leonardis Klinik. This is where I am treated by the German Oncologist. I spent 3 days in Germany before flying home on Thursday evening.

I’m feeling fairly good but am tired and in a little discomfort, but I suppose to be told that my liver is now is remission has made all this treatment worthwhile.

I had four chemoembolizations to shrink the tumours on the liver 4-5 weeks apart and then 2 LITT (Laser induced interstitial thermotherapy) procedures to totally remove them.

Gill23, I’ll send a private message with links in as I know they can’t be reproduced here and if anyone else wants them please let me know.

I also have bony secondaries and recently had radiotherapy on my left hip as I had a hairline fracture.

We all know there is no cure but surely extra time is what we all want and I’m hoping that this treatment will give me this. The German Oncologist has also devised a treatment plan which my UK Oncologist will follow to a degree. I’m currently on Xeloda which I know from tests carried out in Germany (Chemosensitivity test) is a good chemo to fight my cancer.

Best wishes


Hi Spike

I would love to know all the links and things to do with your treatment in Germany, and also if possible, the cost, even if only a rough guide for me,

Thanks so much for taking the time to post to us all and let us know,

Well done on the success of your treatment too, must be absolutely fantastic to hear the words your liver is in remission, that is something I would love to hear.

U take care and make sure you rest


Hi Spike

Could you send me the links as well? Hope you continue to improve - really fantastic news that your liver is now in remission. I’m also on xeloda and seem to be responding well to it but would like to know what else is being offered albeit abroad.

Thanks for letting us know about it all.


HI All

Can you tell me if liver mets cause pain? I have been experiencing pain behind my ribs on the right, nausea and extreme tiredness.

I’m worried sick… I have a CT scan on 3rd September but I don’t know if I can wait now.

Cecelia. x

Hi Cecelia

I didnt have any symptoms for my liver mets and was diagnosed same time as bc. I have another ct scan on Monday 1st, as seriously worried about pain in left boob, and sure have lump and wondering if my herceptin not working, so what is happening to my liver. Am freaking out about it actually.

Hopefully your pain is just from all your treatment and nothing to worry about and your scan will show u in the clear. Will be thinking about u on the 3rd and let us know how u get on, How long do u normally have to wait for ur results. Mine is 3 weeks but gonna see if can get them earlier this time to stop my stress levels going through the roof.

Take care

thanks for info Spike - going to copy it to my onc and am seeing him on 12th Sept with my U/S scan results.

hope you continue to be well


Hi Spike
Would appreciate it if you could send me the info as well. Pleased to hear that your liver is now in remission and I read about the chemosensitivity tests being done on the continent in the Mail a few weeks ago. It would be nice if they were done here as well so that people are not subjected to endless chemos which may or may not work.

Barbara x

Thanks for words of encouragement Dawn. Hopefully it’s nothing to worry about.

The appointment with my onc is on 22nd September so nearly 3 weeks from CT scan. I’ll see if it can be brought forward, I can’t bear the worrying.

Good luck with yours on 1st too. I also have a mammogram on remaining boob on that day!

Cecelia. x