Our hospital is a pioneer of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy, and started introducing RFA in June 1999. As of December 2011, the number of cases treated reached as many as 4,000 with a 5-year survival rate of over 70%. With RFA therapy, electromagnetic waves (460–480 kHz) that are longer than microwaves are used to coagulate and denature intracellular protein, using an electrode probe heated to 80–120 degrees, thereby inducing necrosis of cancer cells. In the past, percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) and microwave coagulation therapy (MCT) were the main medical treatments of hepatoma. However, in recent years RFA, which induces complete necrosis of cancer cells with a wide cauterization area accompanied by fewer complications, is considered to be the treatment method that can achieve radical control. In addition, studies of arterial injection chemotherapy or transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) plus the molecular target drug sorafenib as concomitant therapies are in progress in the area of hepatoma.
Furthermore, we are proud of our accomplishments in endoscopic therapy for the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD), in which a lesion is peeled off at the submucosal level using a high frequency knife, is a very difficult method and so it is almost only performed in Japan. In addition, the number of institutions that can perform ESD is still limited in Japan. Our hospital has treated more than 200 cases of early esophageal cancer or early gastric cancer with ESD each year, and this number ranks as the best in Japan. Preoperative examinations such as narrow band imaging (NBI) and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) are also performed, and thus precise diagnosis of the range and invasion depth of a lesion is possible. Regarding colon cancer, our hospital performs more than 500 endoscopic mucosal resections (EMR) of the large intestine and more than 100 ESDs of the large intestine each year, both of which have low accident rates.
In addition, our hospital has highly-advanced EUS diagnostic/treatment systems for bile duct/pancreatic diseases. Our diagnostic systems include early diagnosis with a contrast EUS system using a high resolution EUS system (1,500 cases each year) and EUS-FNA, in which lesions both inside and outside the gastrointestinal tract are aspirated to perform a biopsy guided by EUS (150 cases each year). Treatments include EUS-guided abdominal plexus block, which alleviates cancer pain by injecting alcohol into the abdominal plexus using EUS-guided centesis (150 cases each year); EUS-guided pancreatic pseudocyst drainage, in which a stent is placed between the cystic lumen and gastrointestinal tract wall to drain cystic fluid into the gastrointestinal tract (80 cases each year); EUS-guided bile duct drainage, which is a drainage therapy for obstructive jaundice that is difficult to treat with ERCP (140 cases each year); and drainage therapy for difficult and acute inflammation of the gallbladder for patients with poor physical condition (16 cases each year).
Moreover, our hospital has accomplished noteworthy results in the field of urology. We were the first in Japan to introduce brachytherapy for localized prostate cancer, in which approximately 60 to 80 hermetically sealed radiation sources are permanently implanted into the prostate while referring to real-time images from an ultrasonic device inserted into the rectum. The radioactive isotope used (I125) is characterized by a low dose factor and short range of radiation. Since the whole process can be completed in approximately 2 hours with spinal anesthesia, the burden on the patient is relatively low. In the case of renal cancer, we have been performing nephrectomy and partial nephrectomy. With these methods, 3 to 4 trocar ports (with diameters as small as 5–12 mm) are placed in the abdomen and surgery is performed using long, narrow surgical equipment, thus aiming to improve the patient’s QOL as well as the long-term prognosis.
Our hospital has developed a new imaging endoscopic ultrasound probe and contrast medium in cooperation with the maker, and we have acquired training and experience in the endoscopic ultrasound and fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) technique. We have applied and expanded these techniques with various procedures such as plexus block for EUS-guided pain relief, pseudocyst drainage after acute pancreatitis, malignant/benign pancreatic duct stenosis or bile duct stricture, and cholelithotomy. Our hospital is currently pursuing cutting-edge research in three particular areas—hepatoma, gastrointestinal cancer, and bile duct/pancreatic diseases—and we receive requests for lectures and training from all over the world. We are proud that our hospital has such techniques that rank among the best in the world.
Our hospital always accepts many cancer patients and, if the metastasis of cancer cells is noted, we perform multidisciplinary treatment by combining RFA, molecular target drugs, and surgeries performed by respective departments. Our hospital is also characterized by the strong connection between each of our departments and our speedy treatment.
In addition, we also perform various studies on advanced medical care and highly advanced medical treatment, and we are currently performing translational research on specific peptide vaccine therapy for cancer and autologous vaccine therapy.
Dr. Masatoshi Kudo
Director of the Hospital
Dr. Hirotsugu Uemura
Consultant in the Department of Urology
Professor Masatoshi Kudo, who is also the director of our hospital, is a global leader in the area of the diagnosis and treatment of hepatoma. He started performing RFA treatments for many patients with liver cancer earlier than other specialists, and the results have been reported by many press agencies. Furthermore, we have many doctors who hold lectures, live demonstrations, and training in many countries around the world including Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Peru, Russia, and Kazakhstan, such as Professor Hiroshi Kashida (endoscopic diagnosis and treatment of early gastrointestinal cancer) and Assistant Professor Masayuki Kitano (diagnosis and treatment of bile duct/pancreatic diseases). Doctors, students, and international students from Japan as well as many foreign countries visit our hospital.
We are certain that international patients will be satisfied with our world’s-best diagnosis and treatment system for hepatoma, gastrointestinal cancer, and bile duct/pancreatic diseases before returning to their home countries.
We ask our patients to provide us with their medical history in advance, together with other relevant medical information and images, so that we are able to consider their admittance for treatment. Once we decide to admit a patient, we have them come to Japan after approximately 2 weeks.
|External View of Our Hospital||Dr. Kudo Performing RFA|
Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrine/Metabolism/Diabetes Medicine, Gastrointestinal Medicine, Hematology/Internal Medicine and Connective Tissue Disorders, Nephrology, Oncology, Respiratory/Allergy Medicine, Neurology, Psychosomatic Medicine, Mental Health, Pediatrics, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Cardiovascular Surgery, Orthopedics, Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Therapeutic Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology, Dental Surgery
377-2, Ono-Higashi, Osakasayama City, Osaka 589-8511
|15 minutes by bus from
on the Nankai Electric Railway Koya Line
15 minutes by bus from
on the Semboku Rapid Railway
|50 minutes by car
from Kansai International Airport