HAIP Therapy for Colon Cancer

Our experts are leaders in hepatic arterial infusion pump therapy

Washington University specialists at Siteman have made incredible strides in research and implementing hepatic arterial infusion pump (HAIP) chemotherapy into certain advanced cancer treatment plans. Our multidisciplinary team consists of exceptional surgical, medical and radiation oncologists who work together to deliver HAI care.


What is hepatic arterial infusion?

Hepatic arterial infusion is a type of cancer treatment in which surgeons implant a special pump to deliver specialized chemotherapy drugs directly to metastatic tumors in the liver. Via the pump, a catheter is connected to the hepatic artery, which supplies blood to tumors within the liver. Because the chemotherapy is delivered directly to the liver, high doses that are effective against tumors can be used without causing damage to the rest of the body.  This reduces side effects and makes HAIP chemotherapy very effective in treating advanced tumors in the liver.

The HAI pump, which is about the size and shape of a hockey puck, will likely need to be refilled every 2 to 4 weeks. The pump releases chemotherapy at a set rate and delivers a constant dose of chemotherapy to the liver, which also increases the effectiveness of the treatment.

Hepatic arterial infusion with systemic chemotherapy

When combined with systemic chemotherapy, hepatic arterial infusion leads to higher response rates compared to systemic chemotherapy alone. There are several major benefits to including HAIP chemotherapy in late-stage cancer treatment plans:

  • Higher resection rates of previously unresectable tumors
  • Lower recurrence rates
  • Prolonged survival rates

Treating advanced cancers with hepatic arterial infusion

Hepatic arterial infusion is used to treat certain advanced cancers in the liver. It is more effective than systemic chemotherapy because much higher concentrations of chemo can be delivered directly to the liver without causing damage elsewhere in the body. Advanced cancers that may be treated with HAIP chemotherapy include metastatic colorectal cancer and bile duct cancers (cholangiocarcinoma).

HAI for metastatic colorectal cancer

Nearly 60 percent of patients with colorectal cancers will develop liver metastases over the course of their disease. Aggressive colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver can be treated with HAIP chemotherapy and may result in better outcomes than treatment with systemic chemotherapy alone. The chemo pump for colorectal cancer can be implanted at the time of tumor resection or it can be done separately.

HAI for cholangiocarcinoma

Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) is the second most common primary malignancy of the liver. Systemic chemotherapy alone results in low response rates and the prognosis for cholangiocarcinoma remains poor. However, when systemic chemotherapy is combined with HAIP chemotherapy, cholangiocarcinoma patients respond better to treatment and have prolonged survival rates.  It also has the ability to take a tumor that is not removable with surgery alone and shrink it so that surgery to completely resect the tumor is possible.

Why Siteman?

Siteman is the only cancer center in the region that offers this cutting-edge treatment. After HAIP chemotherapy was pioneered by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Washington University Physicians expanded the treatment at Siteman and established one of the largest comprehensive HAI programs in the country. Our multidisciplinary specialists have rigorously studied this complex treatment, having led and participated in many clinical trials and consortiums to evaluate best practices and potential outcomes.

What makes Siteman a leader in HAIP chemotherapy is the expertise and experience of our physicians and multidisciplinary teams, and the high volume of patients who seek our care. Patients come to us from around the country to be treated for advanced liver tumors knowing that they will be in the hands of some of the most accomplished and experienced physicians in the nation. Our highly skilled surgeons and nurses have made Siteman one of the top centers in the U.S. for treating advanced liver cancer and colon cancer.

With our exceptional providers, psychological services and survivorship care, we are committed to caring for your body, mind and wellness, even after treatment ends.

If you have metastatic colorectal cancer or cholangiocarcinoma and are considering HAIP chemotherapy as a treatment option, please contact Siteman’s Patient Care Coordination Center at 800-600-3606.