Chemotherapy can be given directly into a limb (leg or arm) to help control cancer that has come back in one area. This is also called regional chemotherapy.
Giving the drugs directly into the affected limb means that very high doses can be given. The affected limb is isolated using a tight band (tourniquet), which prevents the chemotherapy drugs from going to other areas of your body. This means you’re unlikely to get the common side effects of chemotherapy, such as feeling sick, being at more risk of getting an infection, or losing the hair from your head.
Regional chemotherapy is only done once.
There are two ways of giving chemotherapy into a limb:
- isolated limb perfusion (ILP)
- isolated limb infusion (ILI).
These treatments are only carried out in some specialist centres in the UK. You may have to travel to another hospital if your specialist advises you to have this treatment.