HealthWatch: Everybody’s Coach Saved from Amputation!

TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — In some cases, amputation is used to treat certain cancers that develop in a person’s limb, like advanced melanomas and sarcoma or bone cancer. But a therapy that was first developed decades ago is now gaining ground with doctors who are trying to save lives and limbs. 
Basketball coach Mike Hladky was faced with one of the toughest time outs of his life. Cancer was eating away at his right arm.
“Theres a malignant tumor wrapped around my nerve tendons and muscles from my wrist to the center of my forearm here and it’s inoperable,” described Hladky.
He was days away from amputation. But then he met Jonathan Zager, M.D., a surgical oncologist and professor of surgery at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Zager offered another way, something called isolated limb infusion. 
Hladky said, “To keep my arm, I said you bet.” 
Doctors target the tumor by delivering as much as ten times the normal amount of chemotherapy. First, they isolate the arm with catheters then, “We put a tourniquet above those catheters and this way we can profuse the arm with high-dose heated chemotherapy and the tourniquet prevents the chemotherapy from getting to any other place in the body,” explained Dr. Zager.
Dr. Zager said there’s a 30 to 40 percent chance the tumor will respond to the treatment.
“So I’ve done it three maybe even four times in the same patient. We usually space it out at least three to four months and we’ll only repeat it if there’s a response,” Dr. Zager told Ivanhoe. 
Hladky’s tumor shrank significantly. He did the isolated limb infusion a second time and says he’ll do a replay, in an instant, if he has too.
“It’s nice to have your arm when you demonstrate you know. It’s nice to have two hands,” said Hladky.
So it looks like this basketball coach won’t be on injured reserve anytime soon. 
Dr. Zager said isolated limb infusion is usually used for patients with unresectable sarcomas. The entire procedure takes about two and a half hours. The patients are under general anesthesia. 
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Emily Maza Gleason, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Travis Bell, Videographer.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus
HealthWatch Logo

Trending Stories

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

Kewaunee girls take commanding lead in Packerland, Notre Dame cruises past Bay Port

High School Sports Xtra: Notre Dame rolls in Game of the Week; Ashwaubenon pulls big upset

High School Sports Xtra: Local 5 Top 5 Plays, Ashwaubenon Team of the Week

High School Sports Xtra: Dorn breaks Seymour boys record

High School Hoops: Ashwaubenon upsets De Pere, favorites hold court in NEC

Dorn becomes Seymour boy's all-time leading scorer, St. Mary Catholic & Lourdes Academy cruise