Treatment Options
Different types of treatment are available for patients with small intestine cancer.
 
 
Surgery is the primary treatment used for localized tumors. When applicable, our specialists utilizeminimally invasive surgery (MIS) with advanced technologies such as laparoscopy and the da Vinci S Surgical System with robotic capabilities that allows for greater precision. These surgeries feature small incisions and potentially:
  • Less blood loss, pain and visible incisions
  • Shorter hospital stay and recovery time
  • Fewer complications and quicker return to normal activities
 
One of the following surgical procedures may be used:
 
  • Resection:  This surgery removes part or all of an organ that contains cancer. The resection may include the small intestine and nearby organs (if the cancer has spread). The doctor may remove the section of the small intestine that contains cancer and perform an anastomosis (joining the cut ends of the intestine together). The doctor will usually remove lymph nodes near the small intestine and examine them under a microscope to see whether they contain cancer.
  • Bypass:  This surgery allows food in the small intestine to go around (bypass) a tumor that is blocking the intestine but cannot be removed.
 
 
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. Our Department of Radiation Oncology was the first in the western United States to offer the Helical TomoTherapy Hi-Art System, one of the first radiation therapy systems of its kind to integrate radiation therapy and tumor imaging capabilities comparable to a diagnostic computed tomography (CT) scan.
 
Two types of technology are integrated – spiral CT scanning and intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, that produces hundreds of pencil beams of radiation (each varying in intensity) that rotate spirally around a tumor. The high dose region of radiation can be shaped or sculpted to fit the exact shape of each patient’s tumor, resulting in more effective and potentially curative doses to the cancer. This, in turn, reduces damage to normal tissues and offers fewer complications.

Radiation with Radiosensitizers
Radiosensitizers are drugs that make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy. Combining radiation therapy with radiosensitizers may kill more tumor cells. This treatment is given along with chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy – the use of anti-cancer medicines – includes a wide range of drugs and treatment strategies to treat small intestine cancer. City of Hope provides both standard chemotherapies as well as access to newly developed drugs through an extensive program of clinical trials.
 
As part of the treatment team, a medical oncologist will evaluate the best options, so that a course of chemotherapy, if appropriate, can be tailored to the patient.