For the first time, cancer has been treated by removing an organ from the body, giving it radiotherapy and then re-implanting it. The out-of-body operation allows doctors to administer high doses of radiation to widespread tumours without affecting other organs.
Doctors in Italy used the technique to treat a 48-year-old man with multiple tumours in his liver. One year after the operation, which took 21 hours, the man is alive and well. His liver is functioning normally and the latest scans have not revealed any signs of tumours.
According to the article the patient was similar to my father in that the cancer originated in the colon and then spread to his liver. I’m not sure if this type of operation could would have actually worked for my dad, but I was pretty excited that they’ve come up with such a promising new approach for people with similar cancers.