Friday, January 29, 2010
Medical Reports: Chemo Bath
A million and a half people will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Cancers of the abdomen like colon cancer are some of the hardest to treat. Now doctors are giving some patients a Chemo Bath to stop the disease. 7s Christine Cruz has details in today's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Jon upson isn't center stage and that's just how he likes it.
Jon Upson: "I get to disappear on stage."
He doesn't play for recognition or fame.
Jon Upson: "I don't do it for money. I do it just for fact that I love it."
Severe pain in his stomach forced him off the stage and into the OR. Doctors told him he had appendicitis.
Jon Upson: "And went in to take it out, and it wasn't what they thought it was."
Jon suffered from something called jelly belly. A tumor on his appendix burst sending cancer cells throughout his abdomen.
Dr. Andrew Lowy: "The tumor gets blown up like a big water balloon and it just bursts."
Surgical oncologist Andrew Lowy removed Jon's tumor and then gave him a chemo bath.
Dr. Andrew Lowy: "We're actually simply pouring the drug right onto the tumor."
Then the incision is closed.
Dr. Andrew Lowy: "We push on the patients belly from the outside to help insure the fluid is circulating equally."
The chemo is left in the abdomen for 90 minutes and then sucked out.
Dr. Andrew Lowy: "Tumors that have spread into the abdominal cavity don't have a very good attachment to the bloodstream, and if they're not well attached to the blood stream, when you give drugs through the veins the drug doesn't get to the tumor cell."
It's a higher dose of chemo than traditional IV chemotherapy. Patients experience fewer side effects like hair loss and nausea because the amount of chemo that gets into the blood stream is much less.
The latest tests show Jon's cancer cells are gone he's making sure not to waste this second chance.
Jon Upson: "It definitely hit me hard because cancer doesn't play by any rules."
Christine Cruz: "Chemo bath can currently be used for cancers of the colon and appendix."
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University of California, San Diego