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Hepatic Artery Infusion Pump

  201-227-6008    |      cancer@holyname.org

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When colorectal cancer spreads, it often travels to the liver, making it more difficult to treat. An advanced type of technology, called the hepatic artery infusion pump, however, is improving overall survival and enhancing patients' quality of life for those with metastasized colorectal cancer in the liver.

Holy Name Medical Center's surgical oncologists are among a select few nationwide to offer the hepatic pump. It is a small device implanted in the patient's abdomen. The pump allows physicians to deliver chemotherapy directly to the tumor, through the hepatic artery, which is the main blood vessel into the liver.

Research has shown that cancer that has metastasized from the colon to the liver derives more than 80 percent of its blood supply from the hepatic artery. By delivering chemotherapy medications into the hepatic artery, the drugs go directly to the tumor.


A specially trained surgical oncologist implants the pump into the abdomen during a procedure that takes between two and four hours. A short hospital stay is required. Once a patient recovers from surgery, most normal activities may be resumed.

  • Studies show that patients who received the hepatic pump had an overall survival of two years longer than patients who did not have this type of treatment.
  • Patients may be mobile and have fewer clinic visits for drug infusions.
  • The pump requires little or no home care, such as maintenance of the port.
  • It has fewer side effects compared to systemic chemotherapy, which travels through the body.
  • Patients may participate in daily activities, with the exception of rough physical contact.