Isolated Limb Perfusion (ILP)
FACTS ABOUT ILP
WHAT IS IT?
Isolated Limb Perfusion (ILP) is a treatment for cancers in the extremities.
If a patient has a tumor, usually skin cancer (malignant melanoma) or a soft tissue tumor (sarcoma) in the arm or in the leg and it cannot be treated with common surgery techniques, then ILP is the method that offers the best possibilities to remove the cancer.
HOW IS THE TREATMENT PERFORMED?
The body part that is going to be treated is isolated surgically and the blood vessels that support the arm or the leg with blood is connected to a heart-lung machine. High doses of chemotherapy is perfused through the affected limb for one hour, the chemotherapy is then rinsed out and the blood circulation is restored.
ILP is a method of giving extremely high doses of chemotherapy regionally (arm or leg) without causing any side effects in the rest of the body. In about 70 percent of the cases the cancers are removed completely. There is a risk that the cancer might come back after several years, but in these cases the patient can repeat the treatment.
A few years ago, all treatment with ILP was centralized to Sahlgrenska University Hospital which is now the only care unit in Sweden performing the treatment. The hospital has provided ILP since the 80’s and recently reached an important milestone, treating its 1,000th patient.
The access to the new hybrid operating theatre at the Centre for Imaging and Intervention (BoIC) has enabled the development of a world unique minimally invasive type of the method. Just recently the results of the first six treated patients has been presented.
Currently the following types of surgeries are available for Swedish as well as international patients:
MI-ILP (minimally invasive)
TM-ILP (with TNF-alpha)
Get to know the team
Roger Olofsson Bagge is the doctor and the innovator who has taken the treatment to a new level.
At the moment he is responsible for the surgical treatments of breast cancer and malignant melanoma at the Department of Surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Already during his specialist training he gained interest in the ILP treatment and his mentor, Dr Jan Mattson, who today is retired, taught him the quite complicated procedure.
As usual when learning something new one realizes that there is always more to explore, this is how I became interested in this method and eager to develop it further.