Regional Therapy

The world-renowned doctors and specialists at Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center apply advanced regional therapy treatments to rare and common cancers, delivering highly targeted chemotherapy or radiation to the tumor and avoiding exposure to surrounding tissues. These state-of-the-art therapies are effective in treating cancer while reducing toxicity to the rest of your body.  

Advancing Care Through Research

At Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center, we constantly work to improve our care through translational research and clinical trials

Our team is focused on moving faster than cancer, which is why we have worked to develop world-class treatments and therapies for you through our research. We study tumors to identify which genes control their actions, why they metastasize (spread) and to predict their levels of aggression (how fast they spread). Understanding tumors helps us create new regional therapy treatments, like precision therapy, that help us target and treat a wide variety of cancers. 


About Regional Therapy 

Regional therapies use cutting-edge techniques to deliver treatment to a specific region of a tumor or cancerous tissue without putting your body at risk for side effects or damage to healthy cells. 

Regional therapies use chemotherapy, radiation or medicines to target the abdomen, a limb, an organ, genetic mutations or the immune system.  

Types of Regional Therapy 

There are different forms of regional therapy, each designed to deliver anti-cancer treatments at levels higher than can be safely given in other ways. This approach improves the treatment effectiveness. Regional therapies include: 

  • Immunotherapy: An advanced therapy that enables the immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.  

  • Radiofrequency ablation: A needle electrode delivers energy directly into a tumor to heat and eliminate cancer cells and provide palliative pain relief. 

  • Radiotherapy: For people with prostate cancer, we use the Calypso GPS-Guided Device to track and target the prostate’s position in real-time during radiation treatment.  

  • Regional chemotherapy: Also called perfusion therapy, regional chemotherapy isolates the treatment area and then delivers concentrated doses of chemotherapy. The treatment goes beyond standard surgical removal but stays limited to an organ or region of the body.  

  • Precision medicine: Also called targeted therapy, this treatment uses drugs to target the gene mutations causing your cancer. These medicines can also target the blood vessels feeding the tumor. 

Regional Therapy: What to Expect  

At Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center, our multidisciplinary team of dedicated specialists develops a personalized plan of care tailored to your needs. In our modern, comfortable facilities, you will receive the care you need as well as guidance and support from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. 


Common Side Effects 

The extent of any side effects you experience will depend on the type of cancer you have and its location, the type of regional therapy you receive and your general health. 

Your dedicated care team will help you manage symptoms and side effects of your treatment. Common side effects may include: 

  • Fatigue 

  • Hair loss 

  • Headache 

  • Nausea 

  • Irritated skin 

  • Soreness at the treatment site 

HIPEC to Treat Cancers of the Appendix, Colon and Stomach 

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) treats advanced gastrointestinal cancers that have spread to the lining of the abdominal cavity. First, any local tumors are removed. Then, high doses of heated chemotherapy drugs are placed into the space within the abdomen. The chemotherapy stays in place for 90 minutes and is then removed and the space rinsed with saline. The procedure occurs while you are still in the operating room after the initial tumor removal takes place.  


Isolated Limb Perfusion to Treat Melanoma and Sarcomas 

Isolated limb perfusion treats advanced melanoma and soft-tissue sarcoma in the legs or arms. It is a treatment choice when cancer cannot be removed surgically. First, we use a tourniquet to isolate the blood circulating in the arm or leg. Then, chemotherapy drugs are put into this closed loop of arteries and veins and circulated for up to 90 minutes. At the end of treatment, the drug is flushed from your veins with saline and your normal circulation is restored.

High Dose Treatment for Liver Tumors

This chemotherapy treatment uses clamps to isolate the blood flowing into and out of the liver. Then chemotherapy drugs are administered and circulated through the liver for 60 minutes to shrink liver tumors. The drugs are then flushed from the liver and clamps are removed to restore original blood flow. The therapy treats: 

  • Colon cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers that spread to the liver 

  • Tumors that start in the liver  

  • Tumors not treatable with surgery 

  • Tumors that grow despite chemotherapy given through the blood 


Radiofrequency Ablation for Neuroendocrine Tumors 

This treatment uses a needle to deliver radiofrequency energy directly into a tumor, heating and eliminating cancer cells. This treatment is effective for neuroendocrine tumors in the liver. The treatment can also be used to provide pain relief, reducing the need for pain medications and reducing persistent pain. 


Radiofrequency Ablation for Metastatic Spine Tumors

To treat breast, prostate or lung cancer that has spread to the spine, we use the STAR™ Tumor Ablation System, designed specifically for spine tumors. Anesthesia is used so nothing is felt during radiofrequency ablation, which uses energy to burn away tumor cells.


Cartoon of two scientists working on a lab

As an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center supports the mission and guidelines of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The following information about types of cancer, prevention and treatments is provided by the NCI.