• Cancer survior and wife

Breakthrough Liver Cancer Treatments at Ingalls Help Tinley Park Man Overcome the Odds

Any liver cancer is difficult to cure. Primary liver cancer is rarely detected early, and in metastatic liver cancer, the disease has already spread.

That’s why the most advanced treatments for liver cancer are usually available only at large academic medical centers.

But doctors at Ingalls Memorial Hospital are offering the very same treatments right in the South Suburbs of Chicago, and patients are experiencing excellent results.

Antonio Jundos of Tinley Park is one of them.

Antonio was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer in 2006. Following surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, a PET/CT scan showed two spots on his liver.

Over the next several years, doctors at Ingalls offered him three highly advanced procedures that have not only extended his life, they’ve eradicated all signs of the liver cancer.

The first procedure involved selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). Ingalls is one of the few cancer programs in Illinois that uses radioactive Yttrium-90 microspheres to deliver radiation directly to the site of liver tumors.

“SIRT spares healthy tissue while delivering up to 40 times more radiation to liver tumors than conventional radiation,” explains interventional radiologist Kevin Keele, M.D. “The technique sends the tiny spheres into the microscopic vessels that feed a cancerous tumor, extending the life expectancy of patients with malignant liver tumors.”

When Antonio’s blood work still showed elevated cancer markers, Dr. Keele performed a radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive alternative to surgery that destroys cancer cells.

Antonio was then referred to cancer surgery specialist Gary Peplinski, M.D., who recommended a partial liver resection as a final assault on the stubborn tumors.

A month later, his blood work was back in the normal range for the first time in years.

“Liver resection is a serious operation,” Dr. Peplinski said. “To be effective, you have to remove enough of the liver to try and get all of the cancer, yet leave enough behind for the liver to function adequately.”

Following a five-day stay at Ingalls, Antonio resumed his recovery at home with Ingalls Home Care.

Now that he’s feeling good and focused on the future, Antonio has resumed his favorite hobby — woodworking. His specialties include ornate dollhouses and schoolhouses.

“It was difficult at first,” the 70-year-old grandfather of three admits. “But I’m feeling really good, and I’m so grateful to my doctors at Ingalls and to God for seeing me through this.”

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