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“A surgeon never takes the decision to operate on their own. The management of hepatic tumours is always multidisciplinary.


Dr Vincent Donckier,
Hepatobiliary surgeon and head of surgery, Institut Bordet.

How we treat liver cancers

There are 2 types of hepatic cancer: primary liver cancer and hepatic metastases originating from other primary tumours. Surgery is the major treatment for these cancers but it is limited by the need to conserve sufficient functional liver tissue. Other therapies may be combined with surgery.

Medical imaging examinations (CT scan, MRI and PET scan) aim to locate hepatic tumours accurately and establish the surgical strategy to follow. The “resectability” of the tumour has to be confirmed. Can the tumour be completely removed while conserving sufficient functional liver tissue? This is the challenge in achieving a curative treatment!

The patient also undergoes other examinations and tests (blood analysis, cardiac and respiratory assessment, etc) to evaluate his general state of health.