New Information about Diagnosing and Treating Liver Cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Pictured: William Jarnagin

William Jarnagin, Chief of the Hepatopancreatobiliary Service

Thanks to recent treatment advances, many people diagnosed with liver cancer today can expect to survive the disease. But experience counts. Each year, our surgeons perform hundreds of procedures to remove liver tumors, in many cases using minimally invasive approaches (laparoscopy and robotics) and image-guidance systems that improve the chances for a faster recovery. We also routinely offer treatment to people whose tumors are considered inoperable at other hospitals.

Learn more about Memorial Sloan Kettering’s approach to surgery for liver cancer, and other aspects of our approach to care in our newly updated guide to liver cancer . Information on how we diagnose and stage the cancer is available, as well as ways to prevent liver cancer or be screened for it if you are at high risk.

Specialized Care

Our expert multidisciplinary team offers comprehensive, personalized care that will give you the best chance to cure or control your illness. These specialists meet weekly to review cases, bringing a range of clinical perspectives and experiences to the development of a treatment for each person.

Many of our patients are offered participation in our clinical trials program exploring new and innovative treatments. This program is one of the largest in the country, and we are one of the few facilities experienced in treating rare forms of liver cancer such as fibrolamellar-hepatocellular carcinoma.

As a comprehensive cancer center we also understand that fighting cancer and coping with the aftereffects of treatment can be overwhelming. Our experts are skilled in identifying and managing symptoms and complications, and we offer a variety of survivorship support services to help you and your loved ones cope with the emotional and logistical concerns of being treated for liver cancer.


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Dear Sir
Hello and hope you are fine.
I would be very appreciate if your site explain procedure of liver cancer and show movie about hepatectomy.
Thnka a billion in advance

Dear Mehrnaz, for more information about liver cancer and treatment, you may visit our liver cancer guide at or visit the liver cancer information available on the National Cancer Institute’s website at

You may also be interested in our upcoming CancerSmart event, “Innovation and Hope: Our Liver Cancer Experts Discuss the Latest Treatment Options,” which will be held on May 20. For more information and to register, go to:…. If you are unable to attend, a video of the presentation will be made available at a later date on this page of our website:

Thank you for your comment.

How is the cancer kept from spreading using this type surgery

Lapascoptic surgery

Alice, laparoscopic surgery often results in fewer complications and swifter recovery, but its appropriateness depends on the specific case. Our Physician Referral Service can set up an appointment for a more-personalized assessment of surgical options that may be appropriate for you. If you would like to make an appointment, please call 800-525-2225 or go to In addition, you can learn more about surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering for liver cancer at:

Thank you for your comment.

My husband has been diagnosed with inoperable HCC. The doctors are planning to start treatment with Nexavar and TheraSphere. Does MSK use these treatments?

Dear Pamela, we’re sorry to hear about your husband’s diagnosis. If you would like to learn more about standard protocols for treatment HCC, we recommend that you call the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service at 800-4CANCER. Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you and your husband.

Please can you tell me how you treat international patients, with foreign health insurance? My friend lives in the Netherlands and in South Africa. she has an elevated level of CEA (107) and needs to be evaluated for a 12cm mass on her liver. What is the process to have her evaluated at MSK? She's due to have likely laparoscopic surgery in Holland on August 10th. The liver center at Leiden has not done any other imaging or blood testing that Im aware of. I feel its an incomplete basis for a treatment plan and that there is more we can do pre surgery. Please advise of the process and cost, and how insurance is handled. Thank you,
Melissa Raphaely

Dear Melissa, we’re sorry to hear about your friend’s diagnosis. We recommend that she contact our International Center to speak with someone about what is involved in coming to MSK from outside the United States. The center can be reached at and she can go to for information. Thank you for your comment.

Dear Liver cancer expert team,

My father, 73 years old, recently had an open surgery to remove a 10cm tumor on right lobe. The entire right lobe was completely resected. He has viral hepatitis C positive and cirrhosis but normal liver functions before the surgery. Pathological results showed the tumor is HCC.

In terms of post surgery recovery, considering the cirrhosis, what need to be done to restore his liver function? And how does the HCV positive/ cirrhosis impacted the regeneration of new liver cells? We scheduled to see a hepatologist 2months after the surgery, is it too late? Does MSKCC have hematologist in Montvale, NJ location? Thank you!

Dear Cindy, we’re sorry to hear your father is going through this. To make an appointment for a consultation with an MSK liver cancer expert, he can call 800-525-2225. You can go to for more information.

For a list of our outpatient locations, including those in New Jersey, you can go to Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you and your family.

My Husband was diagnosed with Inoperable Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma in March. He was treated at WestMed for his first round of chemo Gemzar and Cisplatin. This did not work as the tumors grew bigger and spread into the lining of his stomach and his lungs and bones. He is not getting radiation at White Plains Hospital for Bone Mets on his spine. We have an appointment with Sloan Kettering next week on June 14th and are hoping for some new treatments and getting the cancer under control....