Diagnosed with an extremely large liver tumor, two-year-old Ilana was treated by the Hadassah University Medical Center’s multidisciplinary team with an individualized course of chemotherapy directly into the arteries of her liver. Despite the difficulty of such a procedure in a small child weighing less than 22 pounds, Ilana is now a happy, healthy toddler.

Initially, Ilana was given traditional intense chemotherapy, but the tumor remained too large to remove surgically. That’s when Hadassah’s team devised the intra-arterial chemotherapy and gave Ilana two cycles, which shrunk the tumor tremendously, enabling Hadassah’s pediatric surgeons to take it out. Cure of liver tumors in children is possible only with complete surgical removal.

Had the doctors not been able to perform surgery, the only possible approach would have been removal of the entire liver and an immediate liver transplant, explains Dr. Michael Weintraub, head of Hadassah’s Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department.