Regional Cancer Therapy Program
The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Regional Cancer Therapy Program offers a multi-faceted approach to fighting cancer. Regional therapy includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, hyperthermia (heat) and radiation to target advanced cancers. It is highly effective for tumors that are limited to a specific area (region) in the body.
About Regional Therapy
Traditional forms of cancer therapy (depending on the nature of the cancer) include surgery and systemic chemotherapy (chemotherapy provided to the entire body). However, when a cancer is limited to one area of the body, giving chemotherapy to the entire body may increase side effects and/or destroy normal tissues.
At Froedtert & the Medical College, we use current evidence and state-of-the-art techniques to deliver treatment to the site of the disease. Using a combination of open and minimally invasive techniques, our approach targets therapy to specific regions/organs in the body.
We isolate the affected organ from the rest of the body using advanced surgical (laparoscopic, robotic) and interventional (catheter based) techniques. Then, we use catheters to bathe the organ with chemotherapy (or in some cases, radiation) and achieve high concentrations of the drug, while minimizing side effects.
Providing Regional Expertise for a Regional Disease
The mission of the Regional Cancer Therapy Program at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is to provide cutting edge, personalized, multidisciplinary cancer care for patients with advanced malignancies. Our actions embody our core values of compassion, integrity, respect and excellence
Our group of national experts includes surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, perfusionists, pathologists, geneticists, oncology nurse practitioners and other specialists working together to provide each patient with individually tailored care. Our expertise in regional therapy includes many forms of cancer, such as:
- Colon Cancer
- Appendiceal Cancer
- Pseudomyxoma Peritonei
- Liver Cancer
- Recurrent Ovarian Cancer
- Rare Peritoneal and Pediatric Tumors
- Gastric/Pancreatic and other Gastrointestinal Malignancies
- Other Rare Tumors
We use numerous techniques for delivering regional therapy, including:
- Intraperitoneal Perfusion (HIPEC/EPIC)
- Chemoembolization (TACE, with or without drug-eluting beads)
- Radioembolization with Yttrium-90 (TheraSphere/SirSphere)
- Isolated Limb Infusion/Perfusion
- Isolated Liver Perfusion (Open and Percutaneous)
- Pleural Cavity Perfusion
These techniques have demonstrated success against cancer in numerous clinical studies.
Hyperthermic chemoperfusion, or HIPEC, allows physicians to circulate very high concentrations of chemotherapy throughout the abdominal cavity with minimal to no exposure to the rest of the body.
Hyperthermic Chemoperfusion (HIPEC)
This process is combined with an extensive surgical procedure during which experienced surgeons systematically destroy visible cancer.
This allows the chemotherapy bath to target microscopic cancer cells. Medical College of Wisconsin surgical oncologists T. Clark Gamblin, MD, MS, and Kiran Turaga, MD, MPH, are experienced HIPEC providers.
Learn more about HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) by watching Dr. Turaga answer common questions about HIPEC in our HIPEC video FAQs.
During chemoembolization, anti-cancer drugs are injected directly into the blood vessel feeding a cancerous tumor in the liver. This is followed by an embolic agent that cuts off the blood supply to the tumor, trapping the chemotherapy within the tumor. This has wide application for advanced tumors including colon, neuroendocrine and liver cancers.
The radioactive particles are trapped within the tumor and also clog its blood supply to maximize the anti-cancer effect.
Certain tumors cannot be treated with surgery and regional chemotherapy is not as effective. In these cases, we use advanced radioembolization techniques.
Radioembolization delivers short-lived radioactive beads to the cancerous tumor through the blood vessel that feeds it.
The radiation travels a short distance (about 2mm) through the tissues and does not cause any significant radiation to surrounding tissues.
Advancing Care and Sharing Knowledge: Clinical Research
Although numerous studies support the use of regional therapy for advanced cancers, we are always striving to improve therapies and challenge existing paradigms to provide the best possible care to our patients. We participate in national and regional cooperative groups to advance the science of treating cancer. We also lead cutting edge research that can only be found at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. Our nationally known researchers are helping develop new therapies, drugs and techniques to support our program.
We provide specialized training to clinical professionals to share knowledge regarding regional therapies. Our faculty have worked nationally and internationally to educate cancer specialists on the available techniques.
Leaders in Cancer Care
As leaders in cancer care, we are forging ahead, forming partnerships to establish the foremost center for regional cancer care in the nation. We invite partnerships from healthcare and patient communities to help fulfill our goals in the fight against cancer.
Kiran K. Turaga, MD, MPH
Kathleen K. Christians, MD
Fabian Johnston, MD, MHS
T. Clark Gamblin, MD, MS
James P. Thomas, MD, PhD
Paul S. Ritch, MD
Lauren A. Wiebe, MD
Ben George, MD
Beth A. Erickson-Wittmann, MD
Tracy R. Kelly, MD
Vascular and Interventional Radiology
William S. Rilling, MD
Robert A. Hieb, MD
Eric J. Hohenwalter, MD
Parag J. Patel, MD
Sean M. Tutton, MD
Sarah B. White, MD