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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Surgical Oncology — Liver cancer

News & Features

Rodney Calles 

Cancer survivor shares his story  

Rodney Calles underwent surgical procedures to remove portions of his colon and liver as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment.

Be Smart with Body Art - arm tatoo 

Be smart with body art  

Spreading the word about the risks of hepatitis C from tattooing and body-piercing.

Asian family  

Projected surge in liver cancer among Asian American and Pacific Islanders  

Raising awareness of liver cancer risk to carriers of hepatitis B virus.

New Patient Support

Peer Navigator Program 

Peer navigator program provides one-to-one peer support  

This special program matches newly-diagnosed cancer patients with cancer survivors.

Related Resources

surgical procedure © UC RegentsUC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for patients with all stages of liver cancer aimed at preservation of critical functions, prevention of disease recurrence and optimization of quality of life.

Your team of cancer specialists will include surgical oncologistsmedical oncologistsradiation oncologists and interventional radiologists who will consult with you to determine the best treatment approach for your cancer.

The UC Davis liver cancer program utilizes a full team of professionals and revolutionary techniques to treat patients and relieve them of their symptoms.


Surgical interventions

Surgical interventional approaches include:

  • Primary resection: This surgery removes cancerous lesions with techniques that minimize blood loss.
  • Microwave ablation: This minimally invasive technique involves placement of a needle electrode directly into the tumor, which then uses microwaves to induce an ultra-high-speed alternating electric field to destroy tumor cells.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: In this approach, imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to help guide a needle electrode into a cancerous tumor. High-frequency electrical currents are then passed through the electrode, creating heat that destroys the abnormal cells.
  • TACE (trans-arterial chemoembolization): This interventional radiology procedure is used in patients who cannot undergo tumor-removal surgery, and is used to manage symptoms and improve outcomes. TACE blocks the hepatic artery – the artery from which liver cancers derive their blood supply – and directs chemotherapy to the tumor site.
  • Portal vein embolization: This procedure is designed to shrink part of the diseased liver and stimulate growth of the remaining healthy liver. It is used in some patients prior to surgery to avoid the possibility of liver failure occurring due to a small liver remnant.
  • Radioisotope embolization: This interventional radiology procedure is for patients who do not respond to TACE. The procedure involves the injection into the hepatic artery of tiny beads called microspheres that are impregnated with Yttrim-90, a radioisotope. The microspheres block the blood vessels that supply the tumor and irradiate the tumor site.

Clinical trials

The close collaboration among our doctors and research scientists means that new drugs and treatments developed in the laboratory can quickly move to the clinic, offering our liver cancer patients immediate access to the latest therapies.

 CLINICAL TRIALS at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


Khatri VP. Synchronous colorectal liver metastases: triumph of prospective randomized trials over observational bias leads to paradigm shift. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2009 Jul;16(7):1762-4.  
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Khatri VP, Chee KG, Petrelli NJ. Modern multimodality approach to hepatic colorectal metastases: solutions and controversies. Surgical Oncology. 2007 Jul;16(1):71-83.  
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Khatri VP, Shah MH, Petrelli NJ, Li Y, Beckett L, Gibbs JF, Rodriguez-Bigas MA. Type-2 dominant cytokine gene expression following hepatic surgery. Journal of Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Surgery. 2006;13(5):442-9.  
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Your Team

Oncologists Specializing in Liver Cancer

Surgical Oncology

Richard J. Bold, M.D.
Professor and Chief of Surgical Oncology

Robert J. Canter, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology

Diagnostic Radiology

John P. McGahan, M.D.
Professor of Radiology
Chief of Abdominal Imaging and Ultrasound


Joseph W. Leung, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Chief of Gastroenterology

Shiro Urayama, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology

Hematology and Oncology

Edward Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology

Michael Tanaka, Jr., M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology